Spring Musings

spring-276014_1920Wow, it’s the middle of April already!  Where has this year gone?  So many plans and dreams along with a few bumps in the road for this year and it’s almost at an end.  Thankfully the sun and spring have finally returned and there’s just something about spring that makes you feel energized again.

As I pondered what I wanted to share in TIPS this month I found that I was pulled in a million directions, as I know all of you are as you finish out the school year with less than 30 days of school to go.  So this month you get a few of my musings.  I hope you will find a nugget or two that is useful.

Social Media and Kids

Yikes!  I don’t know what it is about spring (or maybe I do), but this is the time of year we tend to see a lot of students making unfortunate choices with their social media use.  We also see a lot of elementary students (who shouldn’t even be on social media yet) starting to create accounts.  For everyone’s sanity and safety, it might be a good time to remind kids and parents of the importance of being responsible digital citizens.  Needs some resources?  Check these out!

Get Inspired

Looking for ways to get inspired in your classroom or school?  Want to see how other teachers are using technology in the classroom?  Looking for STEM ideas?  Want to know more about how to use tools from Google, Microsoft, and more?  Make plans now to attend the 2016 IFL Conference on June 7thRegistration is now open!

But My Favorite Cool Web Tools Aren’t Approved…

Well, that may be changing soon.  As with all new legislation, the understanding and implementation matures over time and that is also true of the new data security and data sharing laws.  We have continued to work with KDE to review and revise our process and hope to be able to make decisions (and hopefully approve) many of the sites that have been pending this year as we were unable to get signed agreements from some third parties.  In some cases we will now be able to evaluate the terms of service and privacy policies of third party sites that are designed for education and may be able to approve them for use next year.  Keep an eye on http://bit.ly/fcspsdata for updates.

Speaking of New Tools

There are so many web tools out there that are designed to make us more productive, to help us better assess learning, to increase student engagement, to help students demonstrate knowledge…. The list goes on and on.  My new tool of the week that I trying out in the productivity category is Google Keep.  For all of you list makers out there, this is a tool for you.  The site lets you quickly add notes (post-it style) to remind you of things you need to do.  You can color code, label, set reminders and even share with others so they see the note in their Keep list.  Since I currently have lists of where all my lists are, I thought I would give it a try.  I especially like that there is an app (iOS, Android) as well that let you access your task list on the go (and add to it at 6:00 am when your brain is thinking of all the things you need to.)

I think I’ll go mark off my “Write TIPS article” note in Keep now.  Have a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *