What does Google Apps for Education bring to a school and a classroom. Google’s motto is to share and collaborate, so how do we leverage this capacity to transform curriculum? Beyond using Google to search and to word process, Holly wants us to think about the other tools available within the suite – like Google Hangouts.

As an administrator, when I walk past a classroom, should I see an environment that would prepare students for 1980 or 2030? The New Digital Divide –

  • “Those who know how to think about search vs those who don’t.”
  • “Those who know how to validate information vs those who don’t.”
  • “Those who understand the current culture of information abundance vs those who don’t.”
  • “Those who have information come to them vs those who go searching it out.”
  • “Those who know how to create and remix vs those who don’t.”

With the Google classroom, can make the transition from yesterday’s literate person to today’s literate person to tomorrow’s literate person. In other words, our students need to progress from writing a letter to writing an email to working in a virtual community.

How do we start to think about making this transition in the Google Classroom? Holly, walks us through the SAMR Model.

Image Credit: Dr. Ruben Puentedura

As a tangible example, Holly walks through the process with Google Docs as an example:

  • Substitution – write a paper as a doc
  • Augmentation – leverage the commenting as a teacher to provide ongoing feedback throughout the process
  • Modification – collaboratively write the paper with a classmate so that both parties are invested
  • Redefinition – collaboratively write a paper with a class in another country and continue the conversation. In doing this, students were able to gain a global perspective and expand their connection to the content.

To address this topic even more, Holly introduces Google Docs Story Builder. The students co-constructed the story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride as a project to illustrate their learning about the Midnight Ride.

Printing is so 2010

What does reading look like with Google Docs? What if we went inside of reading and asked questions. Holly shows an example of reading collaboratively using Google Docs or PDFs enabled with commenting. It’s now possible for teachers to collect responses directly in the document. Leverage the connection that students naturally want in order to empower and motivate them to want to learn.

Revision History is an amazing tool as well for getting rid of “the dog ate my homework.” Can see what students are doing in groups and even at home to extend the learning context.

In a similar vein, what if we looked “beyond the book report.” Holly talks about the power of being able to publish online via YouTube – Book Reports published or summaries of writing.

Changing Instruction with Tools

Holly gives a series of examples from Jennie Magiera about using a Google Site combined with Google Forms in order to better connect with students. Mood Check-In’s published on the site allow Jennie to see where her students are in terms of social-emotional learning. Exit tickets let her “clone the teacher” by assessing students quickly and then providing differentiated instruction through the Google Site.

Google tools also can be used to create and curate portfolios: collect work with Drive, reflect in a guided way through Forms, and then publish via Sites. Holly talked about her students were able to do this and refer back to their work in order to reflect later. By having work in Google Apps vs another platform, then the students can also take it with them by sharing it with another account.

More Additions to Google Apps for Education

Google Hangouts connect students to the rest of the world, and Chrome Extensions extend the power of the web. By leveraging the power of these extensions, students can access content in a variety of ways. Think about the power of using something like One Tab that allows you to curate all of your open tabs into one page. A student doing research could have all of their tabs open, collapse all of them onto one page, and then open back up again.

In addition to using the existing tools, What purposeful things can you do with Google? For example, Holly then shows VideoNot.es as a way to collaboratively note take with video. Students can watch and take notes in sync with the video. These notes can all be shared.

Google Science Fair is another great way to get students involved and published – beyond just doing a science fair, it’s possible to get published. Students can now start creating and innovating for an authentic audience that is beyond your school and to a larger audience. Google really is about sharing, collaborating, publishing, and getting involved in bigger things beyond the classroom like the Google Doodle competition.

To wrap up her talk, Holly spoke about the power of publishing and influencing students. She shared an example of a campaign video that a student created leading up to the 2008 elections. This student has now gone on to become a film student at NYU. The power of Google in the classroom is how it empowers students and teachers to extend their thinking beyond the capabilities and connections of an analog classroom.

Holly will be teaching Google and Chromebook workshops as part of the EdTechTeacher Summer Workshop Series as well as presenting at the Learning Futures Summit.

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