The fast changing pace of technology has provided us many ways to efficiently collate, document and reference information in the digital age. In some cases, the options are so many that it seems easier to just stay the same. The key to leveraging technology to help streamline our classrooms is to start small, to choose one or two ways to transform your documentation of students products, observations and conversations.
These are a few of my favorite, easy ways to start leveraging technology to increase timely student feedback and to increase productivity while saving time as a teacher.
- Google Drive
Google Drive is a paper saving dream. It allows you to create and share assignments digitally with students. Students can upload files and share with you instantly, you can review the work, leave comments or make revisions that they can then use to improve their final drafts and to clarify their learning. Google Drive allows you to share all sorts of files, images, videos etc. If your board is a Google for Education board, your account is tied to your organization and protected in a domain controlled by your google administration, giving you security and simplicity in one product.
2. Explain Everything
Explain everything is a simple way to transform how you give feedback to students. The app allows you to import images or items from Google Drive which then allow you to digitally annotate on top of the item at the same time allowing you to record verbal feedback. This can then export as a video that you can send to Drive and share with the students. Not only does this mean you don’t have to tote around bags full of papers anymore, you can focus on explaining the corrections to students as opposed to doing it for them!
3. Google Classroom
Although google classroom is intended to be an online virtual environment, one of the most powerful parts of the program is the assignment feature. When you use Google Classroom to create assignments for students, you get the choice to have students complete one shared document or to create a copy for each student. When you choose to create a copy for each student, Google Classroom automatically makes a file for each student loaded into your Classroom and shares it with them. This means a couple less steps for you. This makes it very easy for students to access the google document they should be working on simple, it makes turning in the work seamless and allows the teacher to give feedback and help with revisions right from the Classroom App, no sharing necessary. The view of the assignments in Google Classroom allow you to instantly see how many students have completed the work. Google Classroom takes the sharing piece out of your hands, simplifying the process for you. Google Classroom is one more way to lessen the load of paper teachers tend to drag back and forth to school regularly.
4. D2L Grader
If your board uses Brightspace by D2L, there is a grader app that allows you to access files the students place in the dropbox. The app allows you to download the files, to edit, record feedback and give assistance to students. Once you send the information back to the student, they can see all of the information from the dropbox area of their course. They can then use the information to continue improving the assignment or to solidify their learning.
5. Google Forms/Google Docs/doc Appender Add on
When it comes to documenting student progress in class or throughout a project, sometimes it’s difficult to find efficient ways to take notes and store the data. Through the magic of the Google Form Add on – docAppender, you can create simple forms to record your observations and conversations with students. Thru the magic of the add on, the results of the forms that you or the students complete will not only tabulate in a not so handy spreadsheet, but can instead collate on an individual student record for easy reference. To make things even better, you can have multiple forms collate on the same student record, making it simple to have a form for teacher observations and conversations, a form for student self assessment, and even a form for peer assessment; that automatically collate on one Google Document for each student in your class. This makes it easy to in an instant find out how each student is doing individually and to share that information with other teachers, parents and the student.
Click here For a quick tutorial of how to use doc Appender.