CLASSROOM

Google AppsA tool called classroom in Google Apps for Education “helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently and easily communicate with their classes.” You can set class permissions so that students can post and comment. You can also “mute” certain students, invite students to a class, create an assignment, post an announcement, email a student, view, grade and return an assignment, and “remove” a student from a class. At Google Apps for Education you can also find teacher-created lesson plans and Google Maps for Education.
Start by searching for “Google Apps for Education.” The Google presentation “Forty Ways to Start Using Apps in Schools” can be found at goo.gl/pySakU.

GOOGLE DOCS

Google docs are a great tool to help you collaborate on lesson plans, keep a running record of meeting notes or create a lesson plan database. Create folders and share them with colleagues. Students can work collaboratively from home or school. You can easily encourage peer review with comments that tag students by name. The beauty of Google Docs is that it is web-based word processing, thus freeing you from needing software such as Office Suites.

“Eight Things Every Teacher Should be Able to Do with Google Docs,” found on educatorstechnology.com, describes how to customize your document, name your document, change fonts, edit a table of contents, use the paint tool and more.

Edudemic.com’s “Fifty Little-Known Ways Google Docs Can Help in Education” reveals that:

  • Google Docs has a template gallery you can use, with everything from résumé builders to college visit organizers.
  • You can convert PDFs to images and text to make them easily editable.
  • If you add links to Google Docs, they will be automatically detected (instead of typing out URLs).
  • You can drag and drop photos.
  • You can insert bookmarks to get to a section of a document quickly.
If you have any doubts about the power of Google Docs for collaboration, watch the video, “The Most Awesome 450-Page Presentation Ever,” compiled by artists to show creative ways to use Google Doc’s features.

SPREADSHEETS

You can use spreadsheets to track all sorts of things, from student homework to attendance, seating charts and grades. You can give each student an anonymous name or number and then share the sheets with parents. You may want to coordinate parent or teacher meetings using a spreadsheet.

The Great Easy Guide (listed in the sidebar) has tutorials on how to change formats, edit and format data, insert images into a spreadsheet, import data sets, create a series of numbers, merge cells, use the Paint Format tool, copy, re-order or delete sheets, move rows and columns, select range names, filter your data, use data validation, and create an in-cell drop down list.

Googletutor.com has information on advanced tools such as “Polyline” and “Snap to Guides.”

FORMS

You can create forms for assessments, student interest surveys, student reading records and discipline referrals. You can use an add-on app called Flubaroo that allows you to automatically grade assessments that were submitted using a Google Form.

There are a great number of sample forms available. “Tons of Google Forms for Teachers, Administrators and Teachers,” on educatorstechnology.com, links to Google Forms for Teachers, A Must-Read Guide, Eight Steps to Create Engaging Google Forms, Teacher’s Guide to Adding Images to Google Forms, How to Create Quizzes Using Google Forms, Using Google Forms to Keep Track of Students Assignments and more.

“The Power of Google Forms for Teachers” is a Google presentation providing examples of forms such as a Wall of Fame, feedback for field trips, volunteer tracking and appreciation, video reflection form, educational fairs or student presentations, peer evaluation of presentations, and several other unique forms. See “Ten Great Free Google Forms Every Teacher Should Be Using,” also on educatorstechnology.com, and you’ll find forms titled “Get to Know Your Class,” “Emotion Graph,” “Prior Learning Assessment” and more.

PRESENTATIONS AND DRAWINGS

The Great Easy Guide also provides tutorials on presentations and drawings. You’ll learn how to organize slides, import from another presentation, customize layouts and themes, format text and objects, customize slide transitions, insert text, shapes and lines, insert video, tables, or images, use keyboard shortcuts, add animations or embed a presentation.

The tutorials on drawing show you how to create and format a drawing, use keyboard modifiers, select and manipulate multiple objects, move, resize and rotate objects, insert drawings, add images to your drawings, add lines, arrow, and scribbles, use line connectors, and use text in drawings.

GOOGLE TALK/HANGOUTS

This tool allows you to invite an expert to your class to do a guest lecture (video chat), invite up to 10 people to video chat (who can then invite others) and offer remote office hours and homework help. Some features for Google Plus described in Hack Education’s “Google Hangouts: Now with Good Docs Integration, Now Even Better for Edu,” can now be accessed via mobile phones, streamed live via an “on air” feature (allowing viewing beyond the 10 logged-in participants) and include of screen-sharing.

There’s a great “How to Start a Google Hangout” tutorial on Dummies.com and a You Tube video on “How to Create a Private Google Hangout.”

OTHER TOOLS WORTH CHECKING OUT

  • Google Sites: collaborate on a classroom website, maintain student portfolios that students can contribute to as they advance through the grades, work on student projects, and build classroom or lesson plan portals.
  • Google Drive: build a video library on drive, record exemplary teaching and share for professional development. You can also control privacy settings on student videos to keep them in school or on the school website. For more ways to use Google Drive in the classroom see CoolCat Teacher’s “How to Enable Add Ons for Google Drive.”
  • Google Classroom: create, review and grade assignments. It’s easy to provide feedback to students using the comments feature.
  • Google Translate: translate correspondence for parents and the community.
  • Google Groups: set up online and email-based groups for students and staff that allow for group discussion, shared resources and shared calendars.
  • Google Circles: circles are important for sharing, especially videos. You can create circles into friends, colleagues, family, or even subject specific groups for projects.

Patricia Bruder, president of Linchpin Solutions LLC, consults for the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC) located at the South Jersey Tech Park at Rowan University, Mullica Hill. EIRC is a public agency specializing in education-related programs and services for teachers, parents, schools, communities, and non-profit organizations throughout New Jersey. Learn more about EIRC at www.eirc.org or call 856-582-7000. Contact Patricia Bruder at linchpinsolutions@gmail.com.

GET APPY WITH THESE RESOURCES!

  • The Great Easy Guide – Tips Every Teacher Should Know about Google Docs in Education  |  Educatortechnology.com
  • 79 Interesting Ways* to Use Google Forms in the Classroom  |  Wikispaces
  • Google Docs  |  Education Pinterest
  • Docs & Drive Level 1: the basics  |  Google
  • 100 Great Google Docs Tips for Students & Educators  |  Google
  • Using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides  |  Gusd.net