Google for Teachers -
Last week on ICTs in English:
Catherine Lee shared her e-learning story:
I've had success with a project using video inspired by Rattle ya dags.
The task was for my Y9 English students to create a short presentation (30 seconds or so) that would be inspirational for other teenagers -- either 'life lessons' or what they would tell students entering our school as new Y9s. We used wallwisher to create the success criteria, & I put a selection (mostly ones with young women in them) of the videos on Moodle. We looked at several of them together as a class too. A few technical hiccups, but fun, & some lovely videos.
Karen Melhuish shared an idea for using Google forms:
I've started using these instead of tools like Surveymonkey. They are easy to create and allow you to tailor a whole range of question types to find out what your students know/think. You can then share them, embed them in a class blog, or send to students/parents via email (and you can choose from a range of exciting themes and colours!;-))
The results are automatically collated in a spreadsheet - and you can share that too, to help groups plan next steps together. So, for example, you could use this to:
- gather understanding to inform your planning prior to the start of a unit
- check understanding/mood/engagement throughout a course to help you adjust your teaching as you go
- ask for students' feedback on what you're all doing during a unit of work
- ask students to self-assess against various questions
I am a huge Google fan. I've started to amass resources for Google Tools on my wiki (not all completed yet but a lot there).
Tom Barrett has to be the best blogger out there that talks about using Google Tools. He has many examples of how to use Google Forms including how to collect reading responses from students. He had an example of using Google Earth to create an interactive story map where there are recordings of children embedded in the map speaking as if the main character moving around the location. He shows how he has used Google Docs for collaborative writing and a WHOLE lot more.
He is also the instigator of the collaborative series of presentations full of 'Interesting ways' to improve teaching and learning and a few of these focus on Google Tools. He actively seeks new ideas for these if you have something to add.
I know that Rachel Boyd set up a collaborative writing project between her junior Nelson class and a class in Auckland. The kids jumped onto a Google Doc at the same time each morning as their partners in the other school and then collaboratively wrote a story with them. You can read about it on her blog.
For an online ESOL school project I am working on, we have been creating activities for the students to use with the new Google Drawing tool option (part of Google Docs). You can see an example of a labeling activity I put together here.
Thank you for your contributions this term - hopefully I will get to meet some of you face to face at Ulearn, in the mean time here is some reading for your holidays!
I have also been investigating the potential for Google apps, here are a few handy links if you would like to learn more!
Google Apps for e-portfolios
100 ways Google can make you a better educator
Free Technology for Teachers: Google Tools Tutorials