Teacher Dashboard Update

At the end of the month, Teacher Dashboard will transition to a new and improved version of itself. You can switch to the new version now, or wait until the change is automatic.

Here are the most important changes to keep in mind. 

  1. Update your bookmarks. You will log into Teacher Dashboard at a new URL
  2. You can now rename your classes so they are easier to identify.
  3. You can group your students and students can belong to multiple groups. This group structure can mirror groups within classes in Schoology.
  4. You can now share multiple documents at one time using Smart Copy, which is now called Smart Share. This button is also found along the left side of the screen rather than at the top left corner.
  5. You can now share documents with multiple classes or groups at one time.
  6. Teacher Dashboard will now generate a random string when resetting passwords. If you do not want to assign a random string of characters as a password, you can still type your own. Please remember not to reset passwords unless the student is requesting this in person, and always check the “reset password on login” box to help us maintain a secure environment.

I’ve created a video highlighting some of the new features. b  (GHS and GMS faculty groups) rather than here since so many student user names and full names are visible in the video.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Resetting Passwords in Teacher Dashboard

The start of the new school year has been incredibly tech-intensive. We have been working around the clock to get all our services set up with accounts and passwords.

If any of your students have forgotten their Google passwords, you once again have the ability to reset them. To log in, go to the Teacher Dashboard page. You may want to bookmark this URL.

Once you are there, follow the instructions in this video about resetting passwords. Keep in mind that Teacher Dashboard is a powerful tool that helps you do much more than a quick password reset. Be on the lookout for announcements regarding after school classes.

Teacher Dashboard SY 2014-15

Teacher Dashboard is Here!

This year, we once again are offering the Teacher Dashboard product for managing docs, sheets, and slides with Google Drive with students!

If you need a refresher or want to know more, check out this post I made last year covering the integration of TD and Google Drive.

This tool is now available and can be accessed at: http://teacherdashboard.appspot.com/glnd.k12.va.us. Once authenticated with your Google Account, you should see a “dashboard” with your classes, and within, your students.

If you encounter any issues, please inquire with your technology coach (ITRT). TD is only for managing Google Accounts and affects students in grades 3-12.

Teacher Dashboard and Schoology

One barrier for getting kids into Schoology was the reset of Google passwords. Now that TD is online, we can reset student passwords if needed. That means Schoology is now open for business, too! Schoology can be accessed via their mobile app or through http://goochland.schoology.com. We only recommend using this new tool with students if you’re daring and bold. We will be advertising training sessions next week on this new tool.

Again, if you encounter any anomalies, please let your technology coach know!

Checkpoints, Deadlines, and Feedback

John Hendron wrote a blog post about feedback and thought it was important enough to email the link to teachers. As we move towards a 1:1 environment with a project-based instructional focus, feedback becomes more and more important. Projects can go on much longer, and it is important to help students stay on track.

It is not always easy to give feedback to students. When I work with teachers, and when I lead PD sessions, I stress the importance of timely feedback. As John says in his blog post, giving the feedback at the right time is very important. Too early and it gets lost in the shuffle, and too late and the student has no time for course correction. You could argue, of course, that grades are feedback. But how effective are they? A single letter or number after weeks of work does not give enough guidance to improve performance. And, usually, once grades are assigned, students can’t improve on the work they have turned in. This is very discouraging to some.

When planning a project, find natural break points in the process where students stop and take stock of their progress. Sometimes this is easy. If students are writing a paper, a good stopping point would be the completion of an outline or a list of sources. Even if you had not originally planned on grading individual parts of the project, make time to give feedback at an early deadline. Students who might feel overwhelmed by a big project will find smaller tasks completed in sequence much more manageable.

Giving feedback throughout the course of a project can be very cumbersome, but we have lots of tools that can help. Two in particular are very well suited to our technology-rich environment.

Google Drive and Teacher Dashboard: Get your students in the habit of creating documents and uploading files to Google, then sharing with you by storing everything in its corresponding class folder. If you are still scrolling through lists of shared documents from your students, please let me know ASAP! Teacher Dashboard is the best way to view student work. Once you have access to student files, you can give feedback by adding comments, and you can track student progress from the very beginning. There is no need to print, collect, handwrite comments, and return. Even better, you can create a list of commonly-used comments and come up with abbreviations.

Edmodo: If you have not used Edmodo yet, please consider giving it a try. This is a great place to work with small groups within your classes. It is also a great place to give feedback for projects that are not text-based. It also allows for extensive dialogue between group members and teachers. Sometimes students just need to know that someone is aware of what they are doing and how they are doing it.

But you have over a hundred students! How will you manage? You know your students. You know who needs more support, who can fly solo for a bit, and who needs just a word of encouragement to keep up the good work. Make your call. Technology allows you to differentiate your content AND your feedback. Make the most of it. 

Teacher Dashboard and Google Passwords

Earlier this month I blogged about passwords, the importance of having strong ones and keeping them safe. It is important for students to learn to manage passwords. The first step is learning to remember passwords.

School is a place to learn with a safety net, and right now we have a safety net that is pretty easy to use. Any teacher can access Teacher Dashboard and reset a student password. The question now becomes how often we want to do this. It is up to you, the classroom teacher, to decide how often you do this for students. If you don’t ever expect them to develop a skill and provide opportunities and incentives, do they learn?

This is a tutorial to help teachers reset passwords for students who forget their Google password.

 

I’m INSANE…

By the way….I’m INSANE about the teacher dashboard.  The amount of info it gives you is incredible.  I don’t have to worry about logging in to a million different accounts when there is a question.  It’s so convenient.

Sometimes we find a good tool. Sometimes we find an insane tool. I’m very happy we have Hapara’s Teacher Dashboard, and if we judge by the above quote, so is Mrs. Abbott.

We have been using Google Docs for about four years now, but there has always been a high entry point for this tool. Teachers must feel comfortable organizing files in folders and tracking who is sharing what where. With Teacher Dashboard, all that becomes so easy you can get started in just a few minutes.

Head over to John Hendron’s blog and watch the video. Let me know if you would like my help. I know you are going to like this.