The blog this week is all about failure. It's something we all hate, but in the end, it makes us better. It also means we have to take the time to give a person enough space to make sure they can recover and improve from that fall. It's going to happen, so why not use it as a learning experience rather than a judging experience.
The idea for this blog really started with my beloved Florida State Seminoles. I did not go to school there, but they have always been my team. Both my parents were graduates, and the only reason I did not go, there was simply because I was not good enough to play there.
If you have not seen, they are failing. They have a new coach, Willie Taggart, who is in his second year, and it's easily the hardest to watch Florida State team that I have ever seen. Folks are calling for Willie to get fired.
I know college sports are a ruthless game but is this fair to him? He has not had time to implement his ideas fully. He has not had time to fail and learn from it. He has not had time to take what he learned and apply it for the better. He might have experience, but each new set of people and places brings its own challenges.
Being the educator I am, that lack of rope Willie is getting led me back to both education and my own career. I think we as both a society and in this education field that we have all chosen, don't let folks fail enough. We judge people by their failures when really we should judge them by their progress. You can tell the real winners by the ones who do everything they can to not fail the same way twice.
Is there a place that shows this more than in the education field? If you are or were in the classroom, think back to your first days in the classroom. Where you good at what you do? I know I wasn't. I sucked. I had a great student teaching year, and I thought I could just conquer it. My first year was alot of failing though.
I did not want to fail. I was not satisfied with being bad or just average. I tried to make things better continually, and those little improvements got me to a point where I was somewhat (are we ever fully?) satisfied after ten years. Yes, it took 10 years.
Teaching is a hard profession, yet right now, we judge people based on data and numbers. If we keep doing that, we are going to continue to drive educators out of the field. Educators should be judged on their ability to improve. If they have that want to, they will be fine. They may need a little guidance (that's what a good administrator does), but they will eventually get there.
Students are the exact same way. We repeatedly give them numbers and data that signify if they are good or bad. Why do we do that? Think about the student who regularly gets those bad marks. It's easy for them to fall in the trap of not believing and not caring. Why can't we have a system that lets them know they made a mistake or got something wrong, and then allows them to fix it. We need to let them grow, not take away their spirit.
This is something that even society needs to take hold of. Unless someone is super well trained, they are going to do a lot of failing at first. If they have the right drive that won't happen for long, though. They will learn from their mistakes and try new things. We need to give everyone the ability to do that.
Let's change society. Failure isn't a bad thing. It only becomes bad if you don't have the drive to change it. We should remember that we deal with both students and teachers.
Google is taking over education. The Chromebook is everywhere, and so many students now have access to Drive. The collaborative features, ease of use, and availability make Google products a favorite of lots of teachers. It's also a favorite of administrators because it's so simple to manage.
What can you do to take it to another level, though? Sometimes it's all about the little things, and that's what this blog is all about. These are five little tips and tricks that will take your Google game up a level.
There is an easy way to fix that, especially for Word. Start by clicking the settings wheel in the top right, and then check off the box that converts everything into a Google Doc. As soon as that's checked off, every time you upload a Word Doc, it will automatically switch to a Google Doc. For Slides and Sheets, you will need to upload first and then hit the button that says convert to the corresponding Google product
If you use Google Classroom, this trick is a MUST. It makes the workflow in Google Classroom so much easier. If you don't use Google Classroom, it's still a great thing. It allows you easy sharing and collaboration. You can easily share it just by changing the last word in the URL from edit to copy
There are great educational tools in there like WeVideo, Kami, Pear Deck, and more. You might also find that tool that lets you do that one thing you have always wanted. The overall beauty though is that if it's in Drive, it makes the Classroom connection easy!
It all comes down to adding multiple-choice questions and sections. At the bottom of each multiple-choice question, there are three dots in the bottom right corner that you go to section based on a response. Sections are basically new pages. It allows you to send students to one page if they get the question right, and a different one if they get the get the question wrong.
It allows you to add a video or a different question if they get it wrong. Where it really can be great, though is that you can insert a live URL to take kids anywhere on the internet. You can do things like adding a HyperDoc link that asks students to complete an activity if they get it wrong. It means the possibilities are endless.
An excellent resource for this is Eric Curt's site which can be found HERE.