Google Keep- Love at First Sight
Guest Blog post by Rayna Freedman (@rlfreedm)
I fell in love with Google Keep at first sight. Once I saw the color-coded notes, reminders, labels (think hashtags), and image upload capability my head began swirling with possibilities for my 5th-grade students. What a great tool to help students organize their assignments or projects! Aha! Students have a place to send reminders and break down project directions! Learners have the ability to organize ideas.
Google Keep for Learners
Upon first glance, I began to realize Google Keep was great for all learners, especially ones who faced challenges with executive functioning. Students now had a way to visualize thoughts and communicate with their classmates and me. They could collaborate with others in creating notes and sharing ideas. A student explains the ways he thinks Google Keep can be used:
In integrating this new learning tool into the classroom culture and teaching students how to use it I needed a perfect spot for it to be accessed daily.
I decided to use it to help students collect information for their jobs in literature circles. In our literature circles, students are working to create social media accounts for the protagonist and antagonist of their story (either on paper or using Google tools) and an iTunes playlist for their book.
Students were using a reading log to take notes as they read, but I decided to test out Google Keep. Here a student described how to use Google Keep:
Share with a Group
Two months after introducing Google Keep students are using it daily! Their adventure into learning how to use Google Keep as a tool to enhance their learning began when I asked them to create their first list and share it with group members. They had to decide as a group how to organize their reading, making a list of chapters to read each day and check them off as they read them. For each chapter they read, students made a note and shared it with their group and me. A student explains how she used Google Keep in literature circles:
A student commented to another student, “Each note we write for the same chapter is different depending on our jobs.” All of our Google Keep dashboards are filled with notes about the book. I no longer have to go through 24 reading logs but can see all student work on my Google Keep dashboard. Students and I added labels to help organize their thinking and refer back to the notes to help with their jobs. A student explains how Google Keep organized his work:
It is clear students loved using Google Keep long after we began using it. I created a Google Form to gather their thoughts and 100% of my class said they liked using it! I also asked them to think of a phrase to describe Google Keep, how they would use Google Keep in school, and whether or not they felt it was a good learning tool.
Their responses proved to me Google Keep is an engaging and empowering educational tool with lasting effects on students. We all hope you fall in love with it too!