One of the best parts of teaching is the opportunity to remake your classroom each new year. As you begin this new year - here are 4 reasons to consider utilizing Google Classroom in your learning environment this school year to truly transform your teaching!
Google Classroom creates a single online place for students and teachers to access. All the organizing of folders and docs happens in the background. What you see is a stream (see image at right) of assignments, announcements and discussion questions. Students can click inside the stream to access their assignments. Teachers grade and return assignments in the very same place!
Instead of standing at the copy machine preparing pages for students - you can create a digital handout in Google Docs and attach that to your assignment with detailed directions. When you attach docs in Google Classroom you have the option to create one for each student - this makes a copy with the students' names attached and sends it to their drive. No more lost, misplaced or eaten assignments!
Teachers have access to their students' work at any time in Google Classroom. When an assignment is created, Google creates a matching folder where the students' work lives (see image at right). Each student retains ownership until it is 'turned in' but the teacher can also access the work. That means teachers can see student progress and add comments or suggestions to assigned work prior to a final product.
Google Classroom now allows multiple teachers to access the same classroom. That means you can invite the Resource teacher, consultants or other support staff, or the principal to your online classroom. All they need is a school gmail address in your domain. Go to the ABOUT page in your stream and click on Invite Teacher (see image at right).
Click here for a slide deck with additional suggestions and step by step instructions
Happy New Year! 2015 is my year of Digital Organization Nirvana!! As a self-described Digital Hoarder - I am attempting to take the 40 Bag Decluttering Challenge - out of my home and apply it to my digital footprint. I have Diigo bookmark lists, emails, Google Docs and an overflowing Dropbox!! Do I really need it all?
My first organizational stop is the place I live the most - Gmail. These two tips have helped me to begin down the decluttering path in my email inbox!
I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with my email - I love communicating so easily, but I hate how difficult it is for me to find items I have read before they are buried in new emails! This tip from Technology Coach, Frank Slabaugh, changed the way I work with my email. Instead of having all my mail jumbled in one large category, it is now divided into 3 categories that I created - Unread, To Do and Everything Else. This is a short video explaining the steps needed to do that.
Google Calendar on my Inbox
One other item I added to my Gmail is a small Google Calendar in the bottom left-hand side. It connects directly to my Google account and I can see what is on my calendar while still in mail! Saves me several steps. Here is a short video detailing the steps on how to add that.
With tips like these, the road towards my Digital Organization Nirvana is measurably shorter. They are a great way to help me tame the madness that is my email, and keep me focused on the most important challenges ahead.
Beth Swantz - Technology Consultant (and Digital Hoarder)
Google Slides has some really amazing collaboration features that take presentations to a whole new level! But, it seems the grapics side has been a little slower in adding interesting themes. That changed for me this week thanks to Kasey Bell's posting on the Google in Education Diigo group. She introduced us to Slidescarnival.com, a website of templates. This site provides a variety of templates for graphically telling your informational story. Templates range from simple drawings with sleek and clean layouts to detailed photograph layouts. Each template contains a whole range of slides for sharing data, images, text and other options
To demonstrate some of the templates I created a slide stack of options. I pulled single slides from several different templates to create my story. Move to slide 6 for some simple instructions about using the templates from the site.
Visit slide 7 for my instructions on pulling single slides from multiple presentations - a way to create a hybrid slide stack, like the one below.
One more thing...make sure you include the credit slides for any template you use. There are hardworking artists creating these and we want to give them credit!
~Beth Swantz, Technology Consultant
I stumbled upon the SuperQuiz Google Add-On this summer when I was exploring the new Google updates. SuperQuiz is a teacher's assistant self-grader, which instantly grades assessments and generates personalized feedback for each student. When you run the SuperQuiz Add-On in the Response Sheet for a Google Form, it generates multiple tabs, each with a different way to look at the data. The sheer amount of tabs seems a bit overwhelming at first, but after you explore it, you are sure to find the break down of tabs helpful in deciphering class results. Two of my favorite tabs include the Class Results tab, which would be very helpful in guiding PLC conversations, and the Incorrect Students tab, which aids in differentiating your students.
As a teacher, there are only two tabs that you need to do anything with, Auto Feedback Configuration and Document and Email Configuration. Let's break down these two tabs...
The SuperQuiz Add-On was created by Oli Trussell, a secondary math teacher in the UK. He appears to be continually evolving and growing the Add-On. Recently, there have been more tabs that you can add-in to the mix, including Compare Submissions, which allows you at a glance to compare retake scores, and Charts, which shows you a visual comparison of answers students selected.
He has also recently added some paid features, which create visual charts help further break down different questions and student responses. He considers this a "social experiment" as he did not want to charge for the service, but changed his mind after he realized the amount of time and energy he has put into the project. The nice thing is that he allows you to choose what you'd like to pay ($2, 5, or 10) to unlock premium features.
Regardless of whether you unlock the premium features, the SuperQuiz basics rescues teachers from hours of grading and sorting student responses.
~Amber Bridge, Technology Consultant
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