TemplateTab is an Add-on script I wrote to make it easier to have all students working on the same spreadsheet. Instead of collecting 30 digital documents, you have ONE where all students contributed to the same one. This makes it easier to manage digital work and is great for contributing to a culture of “We are a community of learners and we help each other get better.”
Do Different Tasks
When using technology we need to ask:
How can you spend your time more effectively to improve student learning? If you do the same tasks/assignments digitally the learning outcome will be the same. Doing different things does not have to be harder, in some cases it is easier than what we were doing before. It’s just different.
My first approach to 21st-century learning is to intentionally include collaboration into my lesson plans. How do digital tools help students to collaborate better and more effectively? One of my key things I look for in digital tools is if it aids in collaboration.
Google Sheets spreadsheets are amazing for collaboration. Up to 50 students at a time can be on the same spreadsheet. Each cell provides a place for students to add content without typing over other students. Unlike some other tools, you can lock down (protect range) some cells to prevent accidental deleting of the graphic organizer.
One trick I use frequently is to set up a Google Sheets spreadsheet and give all students in the class editing access to the same spreadsheet. This is easily facilitated through Google Classroom by changing the attached spreadsheet from “Students can view file” to “Students can edit file.” Each student can then add their own tab to the spreadsheet. Students can see the work of other students so if this is appropriate for some assignment types but not others.
To use TemplateTab, you must use alicekeeler.com/templatetab to get started. I coded the Add-on script into the spreadsheet template; it is not available through the Add-on store. (It’s a whole process to get your Add-ons approved by Google, so I do not usually try. Faster to just share with a link.)
Graphic Organizer Template
If you have a template or graphic organizer for the students to utilize for their assignment go to the “Put Template Here” tab. Widen columns, set word wrap, use the paint can to add color. Whatever you want!
After you have your roster on the first tab and the template set up on the second tab, use the menu to run TemplateTab. There is a TemplateTab menu right next to the help menu along the top. This will create a copy of the template for each student on the roster, in the same spreadsheet.