Make Learning Better with G Suite
We are back from our epic road trip from LA to the ISTE conference in Chicago. Myself, Christine Pinto, Lisa Dabbs, and Sarah Kerns took 10 days to drive to different schools to do professional development stops (and a few fun stops), sponsored by ViewSonic, along the way. Here is a snippet of one of the presentations we gave. I know I am frequently mistaken for a fanboy of Google, but really I am a fanboy of learning. When Google is not the right tool I am quick to advocate for something else. As G Suite users, or any technology users, we have to ask the question… how does this make learning BETTER?
It is Not Digital
My new stickers say “It’s not digital, it’s different.” Digital is a different medium, a different platform, a different way of interacting. The goal is not to be digital or paperless, it should be different. Let’s ask the question… how does this make learning BETTER?! What pedagogy can we now do better because technology makes it feasible? For example… mastery learning. Without technology, mastery is not a reasonable thing to ask teachers to do. We only have so much time and ability to organize what students are working on. Technology tears down a lot of the barriers to mastery learning.
(If you want a sticker please send a self addressed stamped envelope with the request to Erica at 1719 L Street Fresno, CA 93701).
Do Not Use Google Docs
For what reason do we need to use a Google Doc? If we are looking to do something different… Docs is not it. Probably what you are trying to have students do in a Google Doc you actually want in a Google Form. I would rather hit myself in a brick than open up 30 Google Docs (and as a high school teacher, 150 of them). Scrolling through Google Doc after Google Doc is not my idea of a good time.
Try a Google Form
When students fill out a Google Form 1) I get summary charts that help me to use that data NOW to respond to student needs. 2) all of their responses go to a Google Sheets spreadsheet where I can see all students responses in ONE spreadsheet. I can sort by each question so I can know which students got question 7 right and which ones need to be pulled in a small group. This allows me to avoid holding the whole class hostage to go over #7. I can then sort by question 8 and know which kids need support and which ones can move on. Data is powerful and using a Google Form allows me to be much quicker at reviewing student work and using data.
How About Google Slides
Google Slides are amazing! They are multi-media. For reals… what can you NOT do on Google Slides? “Answer 10 questions at the end of the chapter.” Students can answer one per slide and then because Slides are multi-media they can easily add some videos, images, and textboxes to enhance their answers.
Link to Slide
“Teacher, I am having trouble with question 14.” In a Google Doc you gotta scroll to #14 (unless you use bookmarks but I’ll just roll my eyes right here on that one.) In Google Slides, the slide with question #14 on it can be linked to, taking you directly to question #14. Control L highlights the URL (trick does not work on an iPad.) Control C copies the link to the slide. If the student emails, message or Private Comments you with the link, you will open exactly to the spot the student needs help with.
Add multi-media to a slide to give students feedback. Try my WebCam Chrome extension. The video automatically saves to Google Drive. You can then use the Insert menu to insert video from Google Drive. Easy peasy. (Note: The first time you will need to change the sharing permissions on your folder in Google Drive for the Webcam. Change to “Anyone with the link can view.” )
Add a Slide
Want to provide a student with detailed feedback, a video, links to resources, etc… just ADD A SLIDE! You can add a whole feedback slide to a student’s Google Slides.
Drag a Bitmoji
Unlike a Google Doc, dragging a Bitmoji onto a student’s Google Slides does NOT mess up the formatting. I drag Bitmoji’s onto slides and put them off to the side. Student’s love it when you do that.
You can find all my slides from the road trip at tinyurl.com/isteroadtrip.