Jul 15, 2018

What do your students need to know and be able to do to be confident using Google Drive?

What do your students need to know and be able to do to be confident using Google Drive?


Tips and strategies, as well as helpful links to prepare your students to be successful as they start using Google Drive and take full advantage of the benefits

Benefits of Google Drive

Google Drive is a great tool and it's easy to use, but students need to be comfortable and confident for it to be successful. Students can store any file in Google Drive, access them anywhere, share with others, work saves automatically, and they can search for their work.

How to Best Prepare Your Students

However, to take advantage of these benefits, students need to be comfortable with Google Drive. What they need to know will really depend upon the assignment that you want them to do but some basic skills and facts that student should know include the following (I am including a link with a good summary to each):

  1. Understanding sharing settings 
  2. Understanding how to search for and save (organize) files
  3. Basic formatting tips -- the G Suite Learning Center is a great resource, even with printable PDF’s that would be great to put on tables, or hang around the room! I am linking here to the section on Docs. 
  4. How to make a forced copy (this can also be done through Google Classroom
  5. It may help students if you make a template that they can fill in. This takes away a lot of the fear of staring at a blank document. You you could give the option of using a template. Some students will want to be creative but not all. I often make a template with a forced copy link as in #4. Another option is to make a template, as described here
  6. Think about the specific assignment that you want them to do, and what skills will come in most handy.

When and how should I teach these?

I am not a big fan of doing a big intro, but a quick mini lesson, or even a few steps at the beginning of the assignment that will teach and review the necessary skills. These assignment specific skills might include things such as:
  • inserting pictures 
  • formatting 
  • inserting links 
Be patient as students are learning new technology. We often think that they are ‘born with technology in their hands’ and that they already know all of this, but in many cases they do not. They may know some technology skills, but not necessarily the academic ones we are trying to teach them. Work with your students and you may learn something from them too.

Jul 1, 2018

Tips And Tricks For Organization When You Take A Class To The Computer Lab

Organizational Tips and Tricks for Taking a Class to the Computer Lab

Tips And Tricks For Organization When You Take A Class To The Computer Lab

You probably spend quite a bit of time building classroom procedures and routines in your classroom.  But what happens when you take your class out of your classroom?!  A common time is when you take your class to the computer lab.  All of sudden the same students who know the routine in the classroom are unprepared and asking where everything is, or forgot materials in class.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT THIS?

The best solution that I know of is a small box or even a clipboard, or one of the clipboards with space inside.  This allows you, as the teacher, to have one quick thing to grab on the way out of the classroom with everything you and your students will likely need.
I have seen teachers use the top of a box of copy paper, as another handy (and free!) solution.

WHAT SHOULD BE IN YOUR MAGIC BOX?


  • It is, of course, up to your particular situation but here is a good starting point.
  • Class rosters (seating chart if you want them to have assigned seats)
  • A list of important phone numbers (we get one with all the administrators, main office secretary, nurse, counselors, etc.)
  • Blank paper
  • A small case of pencils and pens
  • About 15 or so copies of various puzzles or filler work (in case someone needed to kill time)
  • Extra copies of the assignment.
  • If you want students to be assigned to a certain computer, bring this list.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

I have seen teachers in absolute chaos because they get to the computer lab and students are asking for another copy of the assignment, or a student shows up late and didn’t get the assignment.  Perhaps a student causes trouble, or has a medical situation, and you don’t have the phone number to call an administrator or nurse!

Teacher friends, these problems are so easily prevented!  Make yourself a supply bag/box/clipboard that you can grab on the way out and make your day in the computer lab go so much more smoothly!
What suggestions do you have to bring with you, or to make sure you stay organized?  I’d love to hear them in the comments, or directly in my email

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