You can absolutely teach math with Google Apps. Google Apps helps to support a shift to Common Core thinking and collaboration. As a high school math teacher I used Google Apps with my students. I am working with Diana Herrington on teaching math in the Common Core era with Google products. Diana taught STEM classes for 43 years, 29 years teaching high school mathematics. She is currently teaching math to liberal studies majors, using Google Apps, at California State University Fresno. Together, we are conducting a workshop on “Teaching Math with Google Apps” and created this infographic to list some of the changes to the classroom that using Google Apps allows.
- Post Directions
Digital resources can be accessed independently by students. By posting directions in Google Classroom, a class website or on a Google Doc students can spend more time on task. Posting directions also allows the teacher to repeat themselves less often. Directions documents include how to set up groups or activities. DOK 1 or DOK 2 level information can be provided in a Google Doc to allow students to start working with the information.
- Watch Students Work
Mentally, when a student is done they are done. Providing feedback to students after they have submitted their work does not have the same impact as providing feedback along the process. As students shift to higher levels of critical thinking, Google Docs allows the teacher to get into a document alongside the student to insert feedback to ask questions to form students mathematical thinking. Use the keyboard shortcut Control Alt M to insert comments on student documents.
Google Docs are a collaboration suite. Students and teacher are able to easily collaborate together when Google Docs are regularly used. Have students work together in the same Google Slides, Sheets or text doc. Design math activities to be collaborative.
- Shift Students to Higher DOK Levels
Google Search and apps such as Wolfram and PhotoMath provide answers and setps to DOK 1 and DOK 2 math problems. Ask students to use these tools. Instead of looking for the answer, focus on the thought process and understanding. Approach the problem from different directions and explain.
- Students Research
Asking complex questions that require multiple searches and gathering evidence allows students to more deeply explore their mathematics. Use Google Sheets spreadsheets to organize information, great graphs, write equations and display results.
- Shift to Facilitator
Spend more time with students by facilitating creation, exploration, and critical thinking. Students can use Google Apps to research, ask questions, organize their thoughts, display their findings and collaborate. The teachers role in the math class shifts from distributing information to creating critical thinkers.
- Conversations for Deeper Understanding
Use Google Apps to have ongoing back and forth conversations about math with students. Reduce the stress of grading student work and shift to conversations that push students mathematical thinking and understanding. Use private comments in Google Classroom and/or inserting comments directly onto the Google Doc to have conversations with students about their math.
Infographic in Google Drawing: https://goo.gl/MCyy5N
Please do not publish or post infographic publicly. Feel free to utilize this resource with teachers and students for trainings and classroom activities.