Why, oh why, does the first week back after break always seem soooooo long. I can not believe it is only Tuesday. But since it is Tuesday I am linking up with Holly, the one and only Fourth Grade Flipper for...
A few weeks ago I went to a training session for our new Google Chromebooks. I was very excited to see how we would be using these new devices in our classrooms. But what I really took away from the session (the first of many!) was that I needed start using Google Drive with my kids - and not just to search information!
We are lucky because our students will be getting Google Accounts for Education (GAFE accounts) which are like gmail - but with some restrictions and will not be illegal (you are supposed to be 13 to have a gmail account).
But even without gmail or GAFE accounts everyone can start using Google Drive for documents, presentations, surveys - everything!! (well probably not everything!).
Here is what I did just by creating things and sharing links with my students and parents.
First I created a Google Presentation - which is their version of PPT. In Google Drive hit create and select Presentation (or document, or form - whatever!!)
Downside - not as many fun little things to do with Presentation. Upside - students are not distracted by fun little extras. Super Upside -anyone can use it, on any computer, anywhere! No more, I don't have that at home, no I left my memory stick at home, no I have a different version, no, oh no I forgot to save.
I created a slide for each student, put their name in a text box on the slide, clicked on share with anyone who has the link, clicked so they could edit. Of course when sending to parents or other students you can select, view, or comment and not edit.
Then I took the google presentation address, put it on our class website and away we went. Here is a pic of the page on our website they go to to get the links. On the tech for parents page I also post the links.
Students loved that they were all working on the same file at the same time. They could literally see each other's work happening. Also inserting an image from Google Presenatation is super easy as it is connected to the program!! No saving pictures to insert, just search and click!! Also, myself and two of my fabulous co-workers were commenting on their slides - two of us in real time. When a comment would show up they would lose their minds. Underneath the slide number is the number of comments. Students continue to work on their slides at home - it is awesome!
There were no expectations for their slide - it was just to explore the program and make a slide about themselves. The learning goal was all about using the tools in Google.
I think this program would be great for collaborative projects between students. Also you can share their work with parents by sending an email with a link to the presentation.
Next we used Google forms to record survey questions. In the interest of time I created a form with each student one at a time. They all came up with one survey question and 4-5 choices. I typed them in as they dictated - it really did not take long. Then I took each form link and put it in a chart in Google docs. I took the address for the Google Doc and put it on our class website.
Here is a link to the doc with the links. The next day during math rotations students would go to the Google Doc, click on each link and vote. We also made the doc available to parents and families so they could vote and we could create more data. I printed off the results for each survey and my students created bar graphs and pictographs. I have also read about teachers using Google Forms to create exit tickets for their students!
This last tried it, is especially for you Holly, I tried to pretend the end of winter is in sight. I left school without my winter coat on, stopped for an ice capp and listened to happy upbeat music all the way home. Yes there is still snow, yes we may get more snow this weekend but for 30 glorious minutes I tried to see the light at the end of the tunnel!!
Looking at the picture, I realize my car is a little dirty - oops. Off to check out what everyone has been trying! If you use Google in your classroom I would love to hear about it, I mean LOVE, as I have to come up with a project plan next week : )