Understanding different learning models.
- Coaching model lets – teachers work one on one with colleagues for lesson planning, technical skill building, and demo lessons. Large group workshops are held for an entire school or district faculties.
- Trainer of trainers model – selected teachers that receive specialized training with the expectation they will train their fellow colleagues.
- Early adopters model – early adopters of technology share best practices at any opportunity.
The Tech Sherpas are a great example of a weekly, student-hosted Hangout On Air that answers teacher questions. Organizing a tech committee at a school supports teachers by giving teachers a voice on effective tech integration with access to quality digital resources. The technology plan for a school should include parent organizations, administrators, teachers, and students.
Teachers can improve collaboration with students and teachers at the next faculty meeting by creating a newsletter with Blogger or a YouTube playlist of video tutorials for creating Google Sites. The School site mentors models provide the most relevant and timely support to teachers on an individual basis when they need it. Finding and sharing online resources is an ongoing effort to keep curriculum fresh and interesting. YouTube is a great option for finding new content, but some educators worry about searching for videos during class because it wastes time and inappropriate content might show up. Using a YouTube channel and playlists to address these concerns allow you to organize pre-selected videos and share your playlists to prevent wasted time searching.
A teacher does not provide the most authentic audience for students’ creative work. Anything with a link, Google Docs, Video, and Pictures are media that can be linked to in a Multimedia Text Set. Blended Learning, Project-Based Learning (PBL), and Flipped Classroom are learning techniques that allow time for a teacher to pull aside a small group for additional learning during class time.
- Project-Based Learning (PBL) – starts with a driving question followed by an inquiry process as students organize their thoughts. They then choose how to solve the problem and present their findings. PBL encourages students to devise their own solutions collaboratively to issues/problems rather than look for someone else’s solution by asking questions and finding answers. The Buck Institute is a good resource for PBL. There will be an archive of videos for students to watch later if needed, students can come to class with questions ready to ask, and teachers can do a quick formative assessment on the previous night’s content to determine what needs to be further explained are benefits of having students watch instructional videos before class.
- Blended Learning – a model that weaves classroom and online instruction together. Many blended classrooms rely on a robust teacher website where teachers can post activities for students to complete or create online. Blended learning often uses adaptive online learning programs that can increase skills and knowledge, freeing the teacher up to work intensively with smaller groups. Blended Learning is where students learn in the classroom setting with a teacher and online with guided activities. See the Clayton Christensen Institute for more information on Blended Learning.
- Flipped Instruction – switches up the instructional model of the classroom. The traditional model where students practice at home without assistance and receive content in class is flipped. Instead, students receive the content at home (normally by video) then the teacher reinforces the video and asks students to apply what they learned in class. The teacher is there to support and extend the learning. Flipped Learning can help students who don’t understand certain concepts to learn better on their own saving in-class time going over these concepts with students who already understand them. Google Drawing for Demonstrating Understanding, Google Forms to Collect Data, Google Charts in Spreadsheets to Visualize Data, and Google Slide show as an Individual or Group Alternative Assessment are great resources. The Flipped Learning model allows student access to concepts at any time of the day. Student created websites to demonstrate understanding, group-created slide shows to teach a concept, and Google Forms to assess and inform formative learning activities can be used to personalize learning in the classroom. Students could read an online article, contribute to a class slide show, analyze a photo, or listen to a historical speech do at home for a Flipped Classroom model that doesn’t involve video. A great way to showcase student work is to create a Google Site for students to link their projects and information to, but Google Sites is much more than just a content repository. Google Sites support embedding a Google Calendar to keep track of important dates, Uploading recordings to cater to audio learners, adding images directly to the pages for visual (and educational!) appeal, and linking downloadable PDFs and other digital documents.
G Suite For Education
A unique feature (only available for G Suite for Education accounts) is an option called, “Appointment slots,” where an educator can select an interval of time during which other Google users can schedule an appointment, alleviating the need for the teacher to do the actual scheduling. Making appointment slots is only available to users that are on a G Suite for Education domain, but registering for someone else’s appointment slot is available to users with any Google account. Embedding a Google Calendar in a Google Site requires editing access to a Google Site, and access to a Google Calendar. Google Labs are experimental features that can be turned on or off to enhance the Gmail or Google Calendar experience. By customizing Gmail and Google Calendar with these features, you can become much more efficient and save valuable time.
Email is used extensively for school communications. Sometimes you may need to email out the same message to all your students or their parents. In order to personalize the emails or make them relevant to the individual, sometimes an email merge is required. Two add-ons that may be helpful include Yet Another Mail Merge and FormMule. Both of these take data that is stored in a spreadsheet and use text placeholders to merge that information into the body of an email. Yet Another Mail Merge uses emails saved in your Gmail Drafts as a template. FormMule has more options including the ability to send a variety of email templates based on a column in the spreadsheet.Canned Responses is a lab designed to save you more of this precious time. By saving the email text as a canned response, you will spend less time recreating an email. In just a couple clicks you can insert your canned response and move on to the next message or item on your to-do list. Here are a few ways Canned Responses might be helpful:
- Weekly reminders for homework, projects, progress reports, or office hours
- Parent communication newsletters
- Commonly asked questions (a teacher FAQ)
- Custom email signatures for different contacts; current settings allow only one signature
- Save custom email signatures and save templates to send the same information multiple times.
Experimental features that can break or disappear at any time. Labs are a feature that can be turned on or off by a domain administrator. 30 seconds is the maximum amount of time you can have to undo the sending of an email with the Undo Send lab.
Google Chrome is the most popular and widely-used Internet browser in the world. It’s fast, secure, and works on all operating systems and devices. It’s also extendible. This means third-party developers can integrate the functionality of their applications with Chrome to make it even more powerful. There are two main approaches to remember: extensions and apps (there are also add-ons which work with specific Google tools such as Docs and Sheets, but these are independent of Chrome. We cover add-ons in an upcoming lesson). Both apps and extensions can be found in the Chrome Web Store. You’ll find the shortcut under the App Launcher icon in Chrome (at the top left of the browser, labeled Apps). Extensions work by integrating fully with Chrome and extending the native capabilities of the browser, but limited compared to an app. Apps are web-based versions of software applications that live completely in the cloud; Chrome apps are simply launchers for the web-based software. The Chrome Web Store has apps and extensions available for use. The Education category makes finding education-specific apps and extensions easy for educators.
Curating and selecting educational apps and extensions is the first step when trying to enrich your class and streamline workflows. Extensions like Readability help students to read websites better by removing distractions and giving them annotation tools to highlight and take notes. The VideoNot.es app lets you take notes right along side of a YouTube video. OneTab gathers up all those tabs and saves them in a simple list that you can go back to any time. Apps like Khan Academy or CK-12 deliver the content itself. Apps generally have more functionality than extensions. Chrome apps and extensions can be force-installed on Chromebooks in your education domain.
- Mail merge
- Automatically creating quizzes from documents
- Automatically grading quizzes using Google Forms
- Providing individualized feedback to students more easily
- Creating citations and bibliographies
- Distributing documents and folders to students more quickly
Create Personalized Documents
Autocrat is a document merge add-on that works with data stored in a spreadsheet and merges it with a template that is saved in Docs. Start with a Google Doc and design it as you wish. For example, you can create a certificate of completion for your student readers. You can use G Suite and add-ons to make this process easier. After assessing basic, core knowledge using Google Forms, we can perform more elaborate assessments using rubrics and can even provide narrative feedback to our students. Explore the following add-ons for assessment and consider how you might be able to use them:
Flubaroo is great for quickly grading student quizzes created in Google Forms. SuperQuiz is a great way to grade quizzes using Google Forms. In addition to the basic grading functions, SuperQuiz provides individualized feedback to each student based on their performance. Doctopus is a Google Docs photocopier and enables you to manage and assess class projects using Google Drive. Goobric is a Chrome Extension that extends the functionality of Doctopus and makes assessments that use rubrics a breeze. DocAppender takes information submitted in a Google Form and appends it at the bottom of a Google Doc.
There are buttons to book an appointment slot. Share the URL of your appointment page and a background image labs can be used to customize your Google Calendar. A colleague has included you on an email that is irrelevant to you, but it continues to come to your inbox because people are using the Reply All button when responding. You want some peace and quiet. What can you do to quiet message notifications coming in? Select the message and use the m keyboard shortcut. You can use add-ons for Forms, Sheets, and Docs to grade quizzes, create a table of contents, mail merge, and change the response choices on a multiple choice form question. Add the Save to Google Drive extension to your Chrome browser to save a website as a PNG, Google Doc, or an HTML file. GeoGebra Chrome apps under the Academic Resources category will run offline and also works with Google Drive.
To color, every other row of a Sheet uses the ‘modulo’ function, which finds the remainder when dividing two numbers. =mod(row(),2)=0 will find the current row number and divide it by 2. Even rows with a remainder of 0, satisfy the condition and their color will change. Now when you add more students to that spreadsheet, you don’t need to throw all your brilliant design work off. To highlight a whole row if the value in column B is “Late,” select all rows and try this custom formula =$B1=”Late”. Consider using this for keeping track of permission forms that have not been returned on time. Conditional formatting is used to color code cells based on their contents.