Sunday, January 20, 2013

Google+ in the K-12 Classroom

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Google+ with all of its components is the perfect teaching tool for teachers. In this post, I mention four units and the ways you can use Hangouts to develop more engaging and interactive lessons in the classroom.

1. World Cultures - In my area of the country, exposure to people from different cultures consists of what you can see on TV and DVD. Sure, there is a growing Mexican community moving in, and yes, we have people in the city who are students here at the local university. But real ethnic and cultural diversity does not exist. 

Choose a country or region of the world for your students to study for nine weeks. Along with the appropriate videos and reading materials, you can do Hangouts with students, who are your students ages, from that country and discuss a variety of topics related to the unit materials. You can also do Hangouts with Museum educators, nonprofits that promote the information covered, as well as Hangouts with authors and media personalities whose work either falls within the content covered or who has cultural ties to the country or region being studied. is a great resource for finding world cultures units and lesson plans.

2. Novel Studies - Reading is not as FUNdamental as it use to be. Young people now occupy their time with video games, texting, and social media. Getting students to read and enjoy reading can sometimes be like pulling teeth. The following is how you can use a Google Hangout to get students more engaged with what they are reading, as well as bolstering critical and creative thinking skills. 

Choose a book to read offline with another class or group of classes. You can do Hangouts to have discussions with other classes to book talks, in which the classes talk about plot, character development, and the themes of the book. You can also do Hangouts to do an oldie but goodie, Readers Theater

3. College Readiness - College isn't something you should wait for until students are in high school. As early as the 5th and 6th grades, teachers and parents should start exposing their students/their children to the college planning process, which begins with awareness.

U.C. Berkeley has done an amazing job at developing a college readiness curriculum. You can use Hangouts to talk to college admissions counselors, college students, and financial aid specialists like Jodi Okun. You can also use Hangouts to talk to professionals to discuss what they studied in college and get their advice about what degree programs are out there for certain career fields. 

Be sure to check out the virtual college tours that are available to you. For more information about the college planning process, you can check out this post I wrote for  

4. Summer Program - We all know that the summer is a time in which a specific population of students fall further behind in their studies. This group of students don't go on vacation or attend summer camp or have the opportunity to take enrichment classes in the summer. The following is how you can use Google Hangouts to teach online classes over the summer.

A Master Class is a great way to teach an online class during the summer. Think of it as bringing the college seminar class  to the K-12 level. You can choose a unit like Poetry or Fiction Writing or Blogging or even Screenwriting. In addition to the weekly readings you assign, you will have weekly or bi-weekly Hangouts with actual professionals in the field, allowing your students to ask questions and share their experiences with the coursework. This is awesome because students get to interact with each other, get advice and/or feedback from people working in the field, and they get the opportunity to make the work personal and fit their individual interests. 

This YouTube video from Ghetto Film School is an excellent idea of what a Master Class via Google Hangouts look like. 

How Google+ Benefits Educators

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Google is already a powerful name to educators for its apps, its partnerships with teachers and schools and its latest Chromebook, which is providing a low-cost laptop option for many K-12 schools. Now with Google+ Google is quickly becoming the social network that combines everything a 21st educator needs. This is because Google+ combines the connections and streaming of information similar to Facebook (without the drama of having the friend people, with the video chat capabilities of Skype (but with the opportunities to broadcast live discussions, share screens, share Youtube videos, and a lot more), with the community experience of a Ning. 
Using the concept of Circles, the Google+ stream allows user to post and receive and posts, pictures, and videos from array of individuals, organizations, educators, experts, etc. Circles is a way to group or categorize your connections. Circle are used to share content a specific group of people. For example, instead of sharing links, pictures, and videos to everyone like Facebook, the circles allows users to share certain posts or videos with family, others with classmates, as well as co-workers or other professional or personal connections.
Google Hangouts is a group chat feature, which allows the user to set up a video chatroom with up to 10 people for free – a feature you have to pay for on Skype. Once in the chatroom, a notice goes out to everyone in that user’s circles letting them know that that individual is “hanging out.” To gain entrance into the video chatroom, a user must be a part of the circle the notice originated from.  Via on air Hangouts, the hangout is broadcast live, recorded and uploaded to the user’s individual Youtube Channel.  Youtube does not allow Hangouts to be uploaded to a branded site, such as a company or an organization.
Google+ Communities gives educators a space to discuss, share and discover best practices around specific interests or subject areas we are passionate about. For example, there is The EdReach Network, which is a community for educators to share their voice on a variety of issues related to education, there is The #ntchat Community for new and pre-service educators, where they receive mentoring and participate in discussions, and there is  Google Hangouts in Education for educators who want to dialog about  how they are using Google Hangouts in their classroom. 
A great option is the ability to start a Hangout inside the communities. 
Check out Google+ and see how beneficial it can be to your practice. Stayed tuned for my next posting titled: Google+ in the Classroom, which will be about how you can use Google+ as a teaching tool. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Google hangouts: Next frontier in education

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

On January 15, 2013, I conducted a webinar for titled: Google hangouts: Next frontier in education. I talked about the various ways administrators can use Google Hangouts as a communication tool, a community outreach tool, and as a professional development tool. Please click to see the webinar. Once inside, please click on Slide 1 to start the webinar. Your feedback is appreciated.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Social Media Leadership

Published on Dec 8, 2012
7 Steps To Social Media Leadership, Social Fresh EAST 2012 presentation by Adrian Parker of Intuit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Google Plus Communities Tutorial by Lucie deLaBruere

Published on Dec 7, 2012

Tutorial of Google Plus Communities

Before You Instagram it: The 3 Social Media Rules for Every Educator

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Social media is a great space. You can find out what Beyonce had for breakfast, catch up with someone you haven’t seen since high school, find out what's happening in Argentina or watch a cat paint a mural. There is so much to see and experience. However, if you are an educator, what social media footprint passes for another profession will get you fired!

I am writing this post because we educators are human just like everyone else.  We shop.  We go out. We have friends.  We have the occasional beverage. And, yes, we have romantic relationships.  But sharing who you are comes at a price.  The following are my three social media rules every educator should consider.

1. Keep it PBS

This means let Vicky have her secret. Do not post any pictures of yourself in swim suits, unmentionables, or anything tight or low-cut. Avoid like the plague posting pictures of yourself dancing like a girl gone wild or stuffing a dollar in a G-string. Shred those, burn those, and bury those. That up-skirt or whale-tail photo will get you banished. Same thing goes for dudes. Revealing to the public whether you wear boxers or briefs is a serious no-no. 

Don’t forget to tell your friends not to tag you on Facebook. They may not care about what the PTA or the Dean thinks about your trip to Cabo, but you should. Your reputation is worth more than any reminders from your vacations or nights on the town. 

2. Follow and click at your own risk

From fellow educators, to politicians, to actors and musicians to porn stars and strippers, you can follow anyone on Facbook, Twitter, or Google+. Stay away from the porn stars and strippers.!!! Unless you are a college professor who teaches courses related to human sexuality or a sex educator for a university, nonprofit, or for-profit organization, nothing good will come from following them. 

No judgments here. You are an adult and are entitled to do whatever you want to that is legal. But it's the parents and school board you have to worry about. Even if they themselves have Jenna Jameson's entire catalog, they can still make a stink of you interacting with her online.  

3. If you Youtube it, they will come

This means you shall not post any videos of yourself drinking, drunk, on the pole, grinding, kissing, or any number of activities that will get you sent straight to the principal’s office. You may be an adult, but there are things that you have to keep private as an educator. Unfair as that might be, your online life has to be more broadcast TV than HBO.

Beware of sharing any opinions that you would not feel comfortable with the parents of your students seeing. You may think Mitt Romney is a douche. But tweeting to the world that you believe so may bring you undo attention in your area. I am not saying not to express your political beliefs; I definitely do. Just understand there may be consequences for doing so. And NEVER, EVER, EVER say anything negative about your school, your students, a parent, the school board, etc. Need I say more?

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens on Google stays online forever!