Great Features of Google Docs

With Google Docs, you can create and edit text documents right in your web browser—no special software is required. Even better, multiple people can work on the document at the same time and every change is saved automatically.  If you are new to Google Docs – check out the Google Docs Learning Center.

Helpful tips with Google Docs:

  1. Voice Typing:  This new feature allows you to talk into the Google Doc and it will type the text for you.  Go to Tools / Voice Typing and allow the use of the microphone.  I helped a dyslexic student complete their homework using Voice Typing and it was awesome.  More directions ?

  2. Research Panel:  The Research panel is a window that opens next to your Google Document and allows you to search Google for websites, images, word definitions, or quotes without leaving your document.  To open the Research Pane go to Tools / Research. The best part – it automatically creates a link on the page where they got their information. More directions ?

Want to learn more?  Every Wednesday morning join the “Breakfast Club” at 7:15 am in Colette’s office if you want 1:1 help with Google Docs or any tech situation.  Just drop by!

Google Apps training material

I often am asked to come to a school and provide a basic Google Apps for Education (GAFE) training during a faculty meeting.  Below is the sequence and activities that I use for a 2 hour training.  Feel free to use or adapt as needed.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE)  http://goo.gl/KbhjhE

Activity 1:  Getting Started with a Google Form

Lets collaborate on a project by using a Google Form to collect data for the Mystery Book project.  Purpose of this activity:  See how a Google Form can be used to easily collect data.

  • Find a partner:  One person can be the recorder & one person can be the researcher
  • Locate a fiction or nonfiction book that you want students to share for a specific subject area or grade level. Each person should recommend (at least) one book.
  • Fill out this Google Form with your collected data and image URL
  • Here is a link to our collected RESULTS (linked removed for privacy purposes).


Before we move on …

6 Ways to collect data using a Google Form

  1. Have students conduct experiment in classroom and one member goes to teacher’s computer to enter data for that group
  2. Have students create surveys using Google forms and display on own computer; students travel from machine to machine to fill out the survey
  3. Email the form to participants to collect data (can embed the form in the email); must know all members email addresses
  4. Email the form by using a distribution list from your contacts  (very easy if using Google Apps since all domain names are the same)
  5. Share the URL of the published form; consider using a URL shortener for easy access like:  http://goo.gl/, http://bit.ly/ or http://tinyurl.com/
  6. Embed the form in a Google Site, wiki, blog or website.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Forms in your classroom:

  1. Surveys
  2. Exit ticket
  3. Collect favorite books you read the last term
  4. Supply inventory
  5. Get to know you survey
  6. Science lab data collection
  7. Checking in on long term project
  8. Voting

Activity 2:  Researching with Google Docs

Now that we have collected some book titles, each participant will conduct some basic research about the book to prepare for the Mystery Book Project.

Each participant should open a COPY of the Mystery Book research project document.

Helpful Google Docs tip:  To easily share a document with others where you want them to have a COPY of the document (versus viewing or editing) is to edit the end of the URL like this:

Thing to try on the Google Doc:

  1. Go to Tools / Research and open the research pane on the side of the Google document.  Search for your book title and locate the author’s name.  The research pane keeps the search process as part of the document writing process.
  2. What happens if you click on the Preview / Insert Link / Cite buttons in the Research Pane?
  3. Answer some of the questions. Notice the options for text formatting:  fonts, style, line spacing, indent, color, bullets, etc.
  4. Select one of the questions:  Go to Insert / Comment to leave a comment about this question.  For example:  Not sure who would like this type of book?  Comments are great for giving feedback during peer/teacher review process.
  5. Look at the options for inserting images into Docs.  You can crop images, recolor, adjust brightness, add borders, etc.
  6. Check the Revision History:  Go to File / See Revision History.  This is especially helpful if you want to see who edited a document or revert back to an earlier version.
  7. Select the blue icon SHARE.  Share this document with your partner for editing purposes.
  8. Find the grey folder icon next to the document title.  Selecting this will allow you to move your document to a specific folder.

Helpful Google Drive tip:  Have every students create a folder in Drive for a specific units/subject.  Students SHARE the Drive folder with the teacher.  Every time a student places a document, spreadsheet or slide presentation in the folder it will automatically be shared with the teacher.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Documents in your classroom:

  1. Any and all rough draft writing
  2. Peer editing
  3. Collaborative notetaking
  4. Shared resource lists:  books, links, images
  5. Classroom newsletter – publish to the web and embed doc on website
  6. Monthly calendar (table)
  7. Posters – use image options (recolor, crop, borders)

Activity 3:  Shared Slide Presentation for Mystery Book Project

The power of any of the Google Apps for Education tools is collaboration. Participants will will collaborate together to create a simple Slide Presentation that can be used two ways:

  1. Print as posters with a QR code
  2. Embedded as a slide presentation in a website, blog or wiki

The purpose of the Mystery Book slide deck is to create promotional posters to entice readers to read a book — without telling them the author or book title.  Users will need to click on the link or scan the QR code to reveal the title.  Perfect for a book display!

Editing the Google Slide deck:

  1. The Slide Deck has already been made and the link allows anyone with the link to edit.
  2. Notice that I already created a simple design with colors and fonts.  Go to Slide / Edit Master.  I find that this saves time and students focus more on the activity than editing the slides.
  3. The editing of Slides is very similar to Docs.
  4. Slides has some basic transitions and animations – but not as much as PowerPoint.  Go to View / Animations to see the options.
  5. You can embed YouTube videos in Google Slide decks.
  6. Users can write in the speaker notes section and print the slide with notes, if desired.
  7. I created the QR code with a Chrome extension:  goo.gl URL shortener.  Users will need a QR code reader (i-nigma) to scan the code & view the website
  8. Embed slideshow:  Go to File / Publish to the Web and you can choose options:  slide size, auto advance, repeat and get the embed code. This code can be embedded on a Google Site, website, blog:  <iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14dW7XfofgJXjIMqLFnnXoD-936kmKu3EaPnUwT9EkBU/embed?start=true&loop=true&delayms=3000″ frameborder=”0″ width=”960″ height=”569″ allowfullscreen=”true” mozallowfullscreen=”true” webkitallowfullscreen=”true”></iframe>
  9. Go to File / Download to print slides as PDF or JPEG files.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Slides in your classroom:

  1. Rough draft of PPT then download Slides into PowerPoint for final editing/animations
  2. Every student create 1 slide for all class slide deck
  3. Embed slide deck on website for rotating presentation
  4. Images only slideshow
  5. Notecards for research
  6. Flashcards for vocabulary

GAFE Session Notes:

  1. Formative assessment – GDocs great for teachers to easily check in on student writing
  2. Long term paper – place all documents, research, images into a folder and have the student share the folder with the teacher
  3. Workflow – Decide on a naming convention for all assignments:  P3 Last First – Assignment Name
  4. Ipad vs desktop https://sites.google.com/site/colettecassinelli/ipad
  5. Use Chrome browser and Print directly to Google Drive – great for database articles because it saves a PDF of articles directly into drive & then students can move pdf into research folder.

Co-Creation & Ideation Tools

Co-creation and ideation tools facilitate the most direct interaction between team members on the goals or desired outcomes of the project. Using these tools, participants can often work in groups directly editing or building the project artifact.  Several of these tools are the same ones used for project management – which is great – because the students will already be familiar with the interface.

Google Apps for Education A group of students can work together on an in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, seeing changes in real time and even discuss the process or comment right within the tool.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that documents, presentations and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

Group members can edit documents, presentations or websites with images, videos, tables, drawings, or links and teachers or other students can give feedback by adding comments. The discussion feature (now available in Spreadsheet and Presentations as well as Docs) allows team members to talk about the project, what to do, how its going, etc right within the project.  You can even use the Research tool right within Documents to search for content on the web. Google Sites can be used as a portfolio or as a place to embed and showcase student projects. As a teacher you can create a template of a Site that contains directions, examples, links to resources and helpful tips and then have your students make a copy of the site.   This productivity suite was made for collaboration!  Other collaboration suites are:  Zoho Docs  and Microsoft 365.

Google Apps Examples:

  • Spanish students worked collaboratively to create a newspaper with a variety of articles: “LA PRENSA DE LAS PANTERAS”
  • Students use a Google form to collect data about the relationship between your height and wingspan to prove or disprove Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”
  • Students researched Biomes and various projects were embedded into a Google Site

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  On a wiki students can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media.  A wiki can be made public so anyone can edit the space or limited to just a class or a few participants.  Many different types of projects can be embedded in a wiki so they work well for showcasing projects made with other tools like:  videos, documents, polls, calendars, maps and specific Web 2.0 tools where you can get the HTML embed code (example:  Google Presentations, VoiceThread). Wikispaces provides free wikis for teachers and they do not contain ads. Don’t forget the tips for collaborative projects using Wikispaces. Another wiki option is PBWorks.

Wiki Examples:

  • High School online collaborative writing wiki
  • Elementary students in Auckland, New Zealand are using part of their class wiki as a blog and the other half to showcase student-created projects.
  • wiki to showcase student-made math movies

 

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Examples:

  • Elementary grade students use Evernote for student portfolios
  • Here is a blog post how a Librarian uses Evernote as a research tool.

 

MeetingWords is a very simple text editor for the web. Your text is saved on the web, and more than one person can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody’s changes are instantly reflected on all screens.  You can work together on notes, brainstorming sessions, homework, etc.

Other content creation options:

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. (https://voicethread.com/about/features/)  Here is a wiki with VoiceThread examples: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/


Prezi:
  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  You can work together on the same prezi in real-time. With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

 


 

Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas.  There are several technology tools that support this brainstorming process.

Mindmeister:  You can work with multiple users simultaneously on the same mind map. All collaborators will be shown in the map footer if they are working on the same mind map. You can turn on the History View to see what changes have been done by which users. You can share your mind maps with a single collaborator, group, or public.  You can give presentations directly from MindMeister either online to other collaborators or with a projector.

Popplet:  Popplet is a place to collect ideas.  Its very simple to use easy great for younger kids.  You can collect inspiration, record thoughts, explore ideas, create galleries. Popplets share be shared and collaborated in real time.

Padlet:  (formerly called Wallwisher) is a super easy way to collect ideas, images, and multimedia onto a simple “wall”.  Works great on tablets too.

Other mind-mapping tools: Webspiration Classroom and Creately (paid)


Creative Commons / Copyfriendly Images/Audio/Music

Discuss with students how we can honor intellectual property by searching the web for “copyfriendly” images to use for collaborative projects.  Help students to understand that all of their work – whether digital or not – is copyrighted the minute they create it. You do not need a © symbol to copyright your work.  You created it – you own it!

I like to appeal to the creative musicians, photographers and artists in my classes.  I try to help students understand that they can CHOOSE to share their creations and still maintain ownership.  This leads to a discussion about Creative Commons licensing.  If a student is willing to share their work to be remixed, changed or altered they must decided whether to allow commercial use or not.  Going through the process of choosing a license for their own work reinforces the concept of “honoring” the intentions of the other content-creators.

Inevitably, a student brings up the concept of “fair use” and wonders why they can’t just so a Google image search for their school-related assignments.  Its at this point that we talk about the purpose of citations for school work – that citing an image for a PowerPoint or presentation means that you are not taking credit for having made the image used and are indicating on the Works Cited page who is the original owner.

This discussion helps students to understand that under fair use laws, teachers must still follow certain rules:

  • I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright
  • I will use technology that reasonably limits the students’ ability to retain or further distribute the materials
  • I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of a class session.

Sure, there are always going to be those who think that if its on the Internet then they should be able to use it. But presenting Copyright vs. Creative Commons in a way that explains WHY and focus on HONORING the work of others, gets kids thinking about themselves as content-creators and how they would feel if someone “stole” their work and made money off it.

My all-time favorite resource to share with students is Joyce Valenza’s CopyFriendly Resource Page.

Collaborative Project Management Tools

Collaborative project management tools are geared toward the logistical aspects of planning, scheduling and workflow around educational projects.  Using collaborative technology tools gives every group member the ability to participate in the project and develop strategies for managing time, collaborating with team members, assessing their progress, and maximizing learning experiences.

Schools in the K12 arena don’t need to purchase special project management software.  There are plenty of collaborative document editors that can be used for assignments and many have built in project templates, schedules or calendars.  Project Management tools focus on:

  1. Task management
  2. Time tracking
  3. Workflow routing
  4. Milestones
  5. Calendaring

Google Apps for Education is an online productivity suite that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to their community for free.  Students have access to email, contact management, chat, calendars, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and websites.  Schools administer the accounts and can turn on/off the features they need.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that emails, documents, calendar and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

For a group project to be successful each team member needs to understand the learning target, know the overall project plan, what’s their responsibility, due dates, resources etc.  Students or teacher can build schedules and project planners using Google Docs.  Group members can create a simple sortablespreadsheet (from Google Doc Template Gallery) that can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Team members can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents, or add their own contribution.  Teachers can easily check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Users can build surveys with the form editor and collect data from fellow students or the public. All the responses would then recorded in a spreadsheet for analysis by all team members. Forms could also be used for self or peer evaluation during or after the project.  To stay organized all of the project documentation, forms, resources and calendar can be embedded in a Google Site and every group member can contribute their part.

Microsoft Office 365 is a similar online office productivity suite.  Office 365 offers free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing.

 

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  Wikispaces provides these tips for collaborative projects using their wikis:

  • Organize group work with Projects – Assigning group projects for your students is easy, but managing those assignments can be hard. It takes a lot of scheduling, and it can be tricky to make sure that everyone is doing their fair share of the work.Projects let you cordon off little sections of your wiki and hand them over to groups of students. And as a teacher, you can manage the permissions on those teams and check in regularly on content as it progresses, which is pretty neat.
  • Encourage discussion – Every page on your wiki can have its own dedicated discussion board. Depending on the type of assignment the group is working on, you can use it in any number of ways: Teachers can pose open-ended topics for discussion. Students can ask the teacher for help or clarification. You can even hold lively debates — and, however you use your discussions, every query and post stays with the work on the wiki.
  • Give feedback and comments – Our comments feature lets you scribble notes in the margins of a wiki page (figuratively speaking). This means different things to different people. For teachers, it’s a way to ask pointed questions about specific passages, to guide students in the right direction as they work, and to give more meaningful feedback during assessment. For students working together, it’s a way to communicate more efficiently throughout the project and to engage in peer review.
  • Schedule Project-related Events – If you have Projects on your wiki (and all education wikis will have Projects), you also have the ability to schedule Events. These let you schedule certain activities ahead of time, so you can lock or unlock projects for editing, send student reminders about dues dates, archive Projects, and more.

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere. Evernote has also been used effectively for portfolios.  Individual students or small groups can use Evernote to document their learning.  Evernote for Schools

It doesn’t matter what platform you use.  Each of these productivity suites give students the ability to collaborate together to plan projects, stay on task, and work together.  Staying accountable to the group by being organized and doing their part will give students a sense of satisfaction that they helped their group succeed.

Using features of Google Search & the new Research Panel in Docs

I’ve started creating some simple screencasts of different ways you can effectively use Google search and Google Apps for Education for teachers and librarians.  This first video showcases the “preview panel” in the Search results panel as well as filtering the results using the sidebar and “related searches”.  Too often I see students looking at the first results from a Google search and not taking advantages of these features.  The video also introduces the new Research panel that is now built into Google Docs which is great way to continue to see your search results right from your document and use the link & citation features.

Information Literacy Collaborative Unit

Copy of this entire project (pdf) I created this unit for one of Library courses but several people asked me to share my process of using Google Forms as “digital notecards” – See Lesson #2.

High School Literary Criticism Research Paper

Scenario:

Throughout the semester in English III, students have been reading and analyzing various literary novels and writing their own essays with supporting quotes and documentation from the novel.  In this research project, students choose an acclaimed American novel or play, read it and then use published literary criticism to help support their thesis statement about the novel.

Enduring Understandings

  • Authentic research involves an ethical and legal use of information and information technology.
  • While the purpose of research is to consider the ideas of others, the researcher should use these to support, not replace one’s own.
  • With today’s influx of information, we need to be savvy, critical users of information, paying attention to source, bias, and responsible research.
  • Utilizing the research process allows for a more authentic presentation.
  • Utilizing the writing process allows for thoughtful clarification of ideas.

 

Teacher’s objectives and goals

Essential Questions:

  • How can I use the ideas of others in order to support my own?
  • What is more important:  product or process?
  • Whose ideas are these? What bias do they hold?
  • When is a piece of writing finished?

Process:

  • Students will choose an American novel or play from an approved list to read and annotate.
  • Students will create an Annotated Bibliography to practice summarizing main ideas from literary criticism and evaluating a source’s effectiveness for research project.
  • Students will create an outline as the “blueprint” for their research paper. This is a sentence outline which will dictate how the paper is organized (but it does not include quotations from work or research).
  • The students will write a research paper centered on an American work (novel or play) of their choice. This 5-7 page paper will be supported with at least five outside sources and written in MLA format.

Skills:

  • Perform research focused on a theme or character development in a novel.
  • Annotate a novel following a theme or character development.
  • Analyze secondary sources and incorporate these thoughts and ideas into the paper.
  • Determine when to summarize or paraphrase research instead of using a direct quote.

 

Library teacher’s objectives and goals

Essential Questions:

  • How do I locate relevant resources about my novel or author?
  • How can I show that my sources are quoted, summarized or paraphrased?
  • How can technology tools be used to help me sort and organize my research?

Process:

  • Students will be able to access quality print, electronic and web resources about literary criticism related to their novel and author.
  • Students will be able to evaluate these materials for usefulness and select resources that support their thesis statement.
  • Students will be able to cite the resources used in correct MLA format.
  • Students will use “digital notecards” (Google form/spreadsheet) to document sources, quotes, and summaries from print, electronic and web resources.

LMS/Teacher Unit Overview using Big 6 Model

 

BIG 6 MODEL Students / Classroom Teacher Librarian
JAN Students select an acclaimed American novel or play and begin reading Librarian assists students in locating novel or play
JAN Task Definition:
Reading
Annotating
Questions
Big Ideas
Student annotate novel looking for themes, POV, conflict, symbols, character growth/importance/function or complexityStudents write a summary of novel to check for understandingTeacher reviews the concept of literary criticism.  Students complete quotation search and commentary assignment.
FEB
wk1
Information Seeking Strategies:
Evaluate resources for  accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs and importance.Location & Access:
Literary Criticism books
Reference Books
Database
Websites
Students come to library to locate resources Lesson #1: Librarian introduces search strategies for locating and evaluating print, electronic and web resources.
February – wk. 1 Use of Information:
Note taking
Citing sources
Students locate 3-5 sources and create an Annotated Bibliography in a Google document which is shared with classroom teacher.Students write the first draft of their thesis statement. Librarian teaches students how to access their Google Apps accounts, plus document and sharing basics
wk2 Quotes
Paraphrasing
Summary
Students come to Library computer lab to set up their forms and practice taking notes from their novel/play. Lesson #2: Librarian instructs students in how to access the Google templates to use a form for “digital notecards”.
wk3-4 Students use form to create 50 entries from their novel, literary criticism, reference and web sources. Librarian checks with students on progress and needs for additional sources
wk5 Synthesis:
Outline
Students organize their notes and create an outline of ideas to support their thesis statement.
wk6 First draft
Editing
Students type a first draft of their paper in Google document and share with classroom teacher
wk7 Citations Students finalize their Works Cited page for all of their sources Librarian assists students in creation of Works Cited following MLA format.
wk8 Revisions
Publishing
Students edit rough draft with revisions and type final paper.
wk9 Evaluation:
Self- evaluation rubric
Student self-evaluationTeacher evaluation

 

Lesson #1:  Locating and evaluating sources for Literary Criticism

 

Objective:

Students will gather literary criticism from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and complete an annotated bibliography.

Anticipatory set:

You have read your novel and annotated various sections of your book while looking for: themes, point of view, conflict, symbols, character growth/importance/function or complexity.  Question to ask:   How can I use the literary criticism of others to support my own views and opinions of this novel?

Input (from Classroom Teacher):

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

  • A bibliography is a list of sources
  • An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation of a source.
  • An Annotated Bibliography is a typed document which contains bibliographic entries followed by a summary and evaluation of the source.

Why are we doing this?

  • Writing an annotated bibliography will allow you an early look at what the critics say about your novel.
  • It will also allow you to practice making MLA citations which will be required in your paper.
  • Writing an annotated bibliography demands that you paraphrase and summarize literary criticism.  These are skills you will need to use for this assignment as well as others in your academic career.

Modeling (done by Librarian):

Locating Sources:

  • Literary criticism books in our school library.  Search the OPAC for your author’s last name.  Ignore results that are fiction, instead focus on Dewey numbers 813.009.  Locate the print title on the shelves and check to see if the book is about your novel.  Some books contain several essays about a novel from various authors and each of these essays can be used as a separate source.
  • Reference books in our Library:  Frank Magill’s Masterplots, American Novelists, Contemporary Authors, Gale’s Contemporary Literary Criticism, etc., – check reference section.
  • Literature Resource Center from Gale.  Access this database from Library webpage (you will need password) and search by your author’s last name.  Look for articles marked literary criticism; avoid book reviews
  • Literature database from ProQuest.  Access this database from Library webpage (you will need password) and search by your author’s last name.  Look for articles marked literary criticism; avoid book reviews
  • The Internet Public Library (IPL) Guide to Literary Criticism:  http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/
  • Gale Literary Index – A master index to every literary series published by Gale (such as Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, etc.). Search by author, title or nationality.  http://www.galenet.com/servlet/LitIndex

Evaluating sources:

  • Check to make sure the source is relevant and accurate:  Is the source literary criticism or just a book review?  Does this essay contain information about your novel; not just other works by the same author.  This is especially important when evaluating sources from the databases.
  • Check the authority:  Who is writing the essay?  What are their qualifications to review the novel?
  • Check the bias:  These essays will give the author’s opinion about the novel.  Try to find sources from various points of view.

Check for Understanding:

  • During the review of the various sources, students will indicate on a notecard which sources they are going to check first.  Review with a partner how to locate that source and what they are going to do when they locate it.  Share some of these ideas with the class.

Guided Practice:

  • Students will then look for print and digital materials in the school library.  Students will photocopy pages from print sources as well as the page that contains the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.
  • Once a source has been located, the students will skim and read through the material.  They should try to get an overall understanding of what the source is saying and make sure it contains information that support, compliments or gives new ideas for their thesis statement, for example:    Does the source address some of the ideas you have considered for your paper?  Does the article suggest something about your novel you may not have considered?  Students should also look at the authority of the source and check for bias.
  • For the annotated bibliography, students will need to select three sources.  Students should type out the correct MLA citation for the first source (use MLA handout or www.easybib.com for reference).  Write a summary that paraphrases the points in the literary criticism.  Write the summary in your own words and place it below the citation.
  • Check with a partner or the teacher that you have completed the first citation and summary correctly before moving onto the next step.

Independent Practice:

  • Students should complete the above process for each source.  The annotated bibliography should include at least one print and one electronic source.  Use the MLA handout (linked on Library website) to review formatting of MLA citations.  The annotated bibliography should contain at least 3 sources but it can contain more.  You may not end up using all of these sources in your actual essay.

 

Evaluation

 

Objective Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Needs Improvement
Locate print resource from school library Student is able to locate multiple literary criticism print sources independently using Library OPAC. Student is able to locate literary criticism print source(s) with assistance. Student does not locate literary criticism print source from school library or only uses electronic sources.
Locate sources from electronic database or website Student is able to locate multiple literary criticism sources independently from Gale or ProQuest database. Student is able to locate literary criticism source from Gale or ProQuest database with assistance. Student does not locate literary criticism database or web sources.
Source Evaluation Student chooses a wide variety of sources to support their thesis statement and is relevant, accurate and has appropriate authority.  They may have chosen materials from varied points of view or from advanced scholarly material. Students choose sources to support their thesis statement that is relevant, accurate and has appropriate authority. Students choose sources that do not support their thesis statement or choose irrelevant or inaccurate material.
Annotated Bibliography Contains 3+ proper MLA citations.  Contains detailed summaries of each source that demonstrates a strong understanding of the material. Contains three proper MLA citations.  Contains appropriate summary of each source. Contains missing or improper MLA citation.  Contains missing or summaries that are too vague, does not demonstrate understanding of material or is copied directly from source.

 

 

Lesson #2:  Using technology tools to create “digital notecards”

 

Objective:

Students will access an electronic form/spreadsheet to take notes from their literary criticism sources (novel, literary criticism essays, reference material, electronic databases, websites, etc.) to support their thesis statement.

Anticipatory set:

Ask yourself this question:  How can I use the ideas of others in order to support my own ideas? You have already located resources for your essay and have written a summary of the material with your Annotated Bibliography.  Now it is time to carefully read the material and locate quotes, ideas or themes that will support your thesis statement.

Input:

Google Apps for Education

  • Each student has a unique Google Apps for Education account that gives them access to an online word processing and a forms/spreadsheet program.
  • The teacher can create a template that students can access for the digital notecards form.
  • The Google form allows you to quickly take notes from each source.  The form includes information such as:  Source title, author, type of source (novel, literary criticism, reference, database, website, other, etc.), topic, subtopic, quote, summary and notes for the teacher (optional).  See sample.
  • The information entered into a Google form automatically fills an adjoining spreadsheet.  The data in the spreadsheet can be sorted by any category (topic, source) which will make the process of organizing and synthesizing the research material much easier.
  • Google spreadsheets can be shared with the classroom teacher so they have access at any point during the research process.  The teacher can open the spreadsheet and write notes or give advice to individual students.
  • The use of the Google form and spreadsheet allows the student to access the same document from any computer, anytime.  This means the student can work on their research from school or home and do not have to worry about emailing drafts back and forth or remembering to save the data on a flash drive or losing 3×5 index cards.  Students access their Google Apps accounts online at:  http://www.google.com/a/lshigh.org.

Modeling:

  • The Librarian should model for the students how to use a Google form to take notes from the novel and from a literary criticism source.  The purpose of this quick review is to help students get an overall understanding of how to use a form, why we are using a Google form and spreadsheet instead of paper notecards and how we are going to be able to sort the data afterwards.
  • Have the students explain to the Librarian how to fill out the sample form using a previously read literature novel.  Repeat the process from a literary criticism source.

Guided Practice:

Accessing the Google form template:

  • The librarian should walk the students through this process step-by-step to avoid confusion on how to create and use the Google form.
  • Log into your Google Apps account at http://www.google.com/a/lshigh.org
  • Go to Create New / from Template.  Browse the list of La Salle Prep’s templates and select:  Digital Notecards for Research Paper.
  • Important Note:  The template opens in Edit view.  The only thing you do at this point is change the title of your form to include your name.  Select SAVE.   Select the link at the bottom of the form to access the “live form”.  This will open up a new tab in your browser with the actual form.  It’s OK at this point to close the “edit view” and template gallery browser tabs.

Entering Notes

  • You will now fill out the form for your first notecard.  Locate the title from your source and type it into the form.  Next add the author and indicate with a check mark whether this source is from a:  your novel, literary criticism, reference, database, website, or other (you fill in the blank).
  • Determine a topic from the source.  You may also want to choose a subtopic.  (Hint:  Relate the topics to your thesis statement, if possible.  The topic might be character’s name; subtopic might be a characteristic of that person).
  • In the Quote section, type the exact quote from the source and use quotation marks.  Indicate a page number if it is a print source.
  • In the Summary/Notes section, write a brief explanation of how you are planning on using this source in your essay.
  • The “questions for the teacher” section is optional.
  • Choose SUBMIT when you are done with the first notecard.  You will see a response after submitting indicating that the notecard has been added to the spreadsheet.

Check for Understanding:

  • Have the students close the form and open the adjoining Google spreadsheet to make sure the first notecard was recorded properly.
  • Students should change the name on the spreadsheet to include their name and class period.  They should select the SHARE button in the top right hand section of the spreadsheet and type the teacher’s Google docs email sharing address in the sharing section, such as:  apukstas@lshigh.org.  Select SAVE.  Now the teacher will have access to the spreadsheet.
  • Important Note:  When the student is ready to access the form again they do it from the spreadsheet!  With the spreadsheet open, go to Form / Live Form to open the form so you can add additional notecards.  Each time the form is filled out and submitted, a new entry is added to the spreadsheet.  It is critical that the students access the form this way – do not go back to the template gallery and create a new form or you will have duplicate spreadsheets.
  • The teacher or librarian should check to make sure that the student is filling out the form and spreadsheet properly before moving onto Independent Practice.
  • SAMPLE FORM  https://docs.google.com/a/lshigh.org/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5JLWtyY0Jia2dObW1SWElpS1ZUOGc6MA#gid=0

Independent Practice:

  • Students should complete about 50 notecards for their essay.  About half of the quotes should be from their novel and half from their criticism sources.
  • Note:  Some students might find it easier to type their notes directly into the spreadsheet instead of using the form.  Either method is fine.

 

Evaluation

 

Objective Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Needs Improvement
Create Google form from template Student is able to create the Google form from the template independently. Student is able to create the Google form from the template with assistance. Student does not create form correctly, or makes duplicate forms from template.
Quality of notecards Notecards have all required information plus detailed explanations of how the quotes will be used in the essay. Notecards have all required information. Notecards are missing important information, summaries are of poor quality, or have not indicated appropriate source or type.
Spreadsheet with notes 50+ notecards are added to the adjoining spreadsheet and the student has sorted the spreadsheet according to source or topic.  Spreadsheet is shared with teacher. 50 notecards are added to the adjoining spreadsheet.  Spreadsheet is shared with teacher. Less than 50 notecards are added to the adjoining spreadsheet, or there are multiple spreadsheets with a few notecards on each one.  Spreadsheet is NOT shared with teacher.

 

Copy of this entire project (pdf)

Make a self-calculating Survey

I am currently teaching Excel to my computer students and we always do a project where the students create surveys and graph the results.  I was inspired by Jesse Spevack’s self-graded quizzes – so I thought I would use the same process with surveys and teach some formula writing along the way.

surveyYou can download a PDF of these directions HERE.

Create form:

1.  Create a Google Form for the survey.  Only use “multiple choice” or “choose from a list” for the answer type because the answers must be consistent.  Consider making the last question required to prevent users from accidentally submitting their results before they are done.

2.  Double check spelling and directions for each question.  You don’t want to edit the survey once you begin.

3.  Email your survey (Google form) to the recipients or provide a link for easy access.  Google Forms can also be embedded in blogs, wikis and web pages.  See a live sample of this form at http://tiny.cc/NSrUf .

4.  Fill out a test sample on the form to make sure all questions work correctly.

5.  Answers to the survey are going to be automatically dropped into the corresponding Google spreadsheet.  Close the form and open the spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet indicates the time the survey was completed. Right click and rename Sheet1 to “Data”.  You do not need to wait until all the surveys are completed before going on to the next step.

Transfer the data:

6.  Add a NEW spreadsheet to your page by clicking the “Add Sheet” button on the lower left side of screen.  Rename the new sheet “Calculations”.copy1

7.  Copy the data from “Data” to “Calculations” using the following method.  Type this formula in cell A1 of “Calculations”:  =Data!A1 This will copy the information from the first spreadsheet (which we renamed “Data”) to the second one.

8.  Select A1 and grab the fill handle and copy this formula across to the other cells.  How far you copy the formula depends on how many survey questions you asked.copy2

9.  With all the cells in the first row selected, copy the formula all the way to the end of the page.  What we are doing here is transferring the data from the first spreadsheet to the second one.  We don’t want to do our calculations on the first sheet and interfere with the data collection.  Using the copy fill handle makes it easy to transfer the data. (Note:  we could use copy/paste if all the survey results were done, but doing it this way creates an automatic update for new results!).

10.  As new surveys are completed, the data will populate the “Data” spreadsheet as well as the “Calculations” spreadsheet.  Now we are ready to write formulas to calculate the results.

Calculate the results:

formula_results11.  Write SUMMARY in Row 1 of the column to the right of all the data.  This is where you are going to calculate the results.

12.  Write the question and answer options in this column.  Repeat down the column for all of your questions.

13.  Now we are going to write the formulas to calculate the results.  We will write the formulas in such a way that if more people fill out your survey, the results will automatically be updated.  In the column next to the first answer option write this formula:  =COUNTIF(C2:C100,H4)  with the range as C2:C100 (this is where the answers are located for the survey; the 2nd cell reference in the range needs to be large enough for all your survey results) and the criteria is H4 (this is the cell reference where the answer option is located).  It is much easier to use the cell reference than the actual answer.  Repeat this formula for each answer option and changing the criteria as needed, for example, the next formula would be =COUNTIF(C2:C100,H5) .

NOTE:  If you understand Absolute References, the formula could be written =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$100,H4)  so that you could easily copy the formula to the other answer options for that question.

14.  Now whenever someone completes the survey, the results will automatically be calculated.  You will have one spreadsheet with the raw data and the second spreadsheet with the data and results.

Optional: Create a graph of the summary results and watch the graph change as new results are calculated.

Tech Tip Tuesday – “Even more” Google Docs

Google Document and Spreadsheet offers “Even More” by Mary Fran

Before we leave Docs to introduce you to more Google tools, I wanted to tell you about a few Google Document and Spreadsheet features you may not find in other office tools.

Document

Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Images

Ever get stuck for just the right word? No need to tab into a new browser window or grab a thesaurus, just click in the word, select Tools > Look up word > Look up synonyms. You can also look up the definition or find the word in the encyclopedia using the same tab. Want to find an image to make your point clearer? Select Tools > Search the web for word > Search the web for “word ” images. It’ll take you right to Google Images.

More on Revision

While up to 200 people can share your document either as viewers or collaborators, up to ten people can edit simultaneously. When working with a number of  people, you might want collaborators to use different colors to insert comments. This is easily done by choosing Insert > Comment. When the “Comment here” box appears, click on it and choose one of the six colors. When you go to print the document, you can choose to have it print without the comments without having to delete them.

You’ll know when another collaborator else is viewing the document at the same time you are. Their name will appear in a box at the top of the screen.

Offline Access

Google realized that you might want access to Document when you are away from the Internet. It’s easy to work offline but to use this feature, you’ll need to install Google Gears. On your Google Docs List Page choose Offline > Get Gears Now. You will then be asked to allow https://docs.google.com as a trusted site. Check the box next to “I trust this site. Allow it to use Gears.” Then, click the Allow button. When you go to use this feature, it may take a few moments to sync your files. But once this is done, you’ll be able to use Document anytime, anywhere!

When you’re working on an online document, you’ll notice a green icon next to your e-mail address. This indicates that you are working online.

When you are offline, type [docs.google.com] into your browser. (You may prefer to install a Google Gears short-cut to your offline document on your desktop.) This will bring up Google Docs. You’ll notice that the icon is now gray. You can now work on your document and when you go back online, your document will automatically be updated.

Spreadsheet

If you have URLs listed in a cell of a spreadsheet, you can go directly to its website. When you choose the cell, a blue border and an icon appear.

When you click the icon, the web page will open up in a new window.

Revision

Just as with Document, you can share a Spreadsheet with up to 200 people as collaborators or viewers. However, with Spreadsheet, up to 50 collaborators can edit the spreadsheet at the same time!

You’ll know when another collaborator is viewing or editing the spreadsheet because the you’ll see their name in the top right corner of the spreadsheet right under Share. A down arrow will appear. Click on it and you can chat about the spreadsheet, or anything else, with everyone signed in.

In Spreadsheet, you can receive an e-mail whenever a spreadsheet is revised by choosing Share > Set notification rules. You can choose to receive a daily digest of revisions, or an e-mail as soon as a revision is made!

I hope you have had some time to try Google Docs out. Forms has become a favorite of mine. It is so easy to poll students or to collect information from them. My third graders love to fill in the form and to see the analysis. Sharing the analysis with parents is easy, just provide them with the URL.

Colette and I would be happy to help you with Google Docs in any way we can. Feel free to reach me at mailto:maryfranlynch@gmail.com or Colette at ccassinelli@valleycatholic.org or colette.cassinelli@gmail.com

We’ll be back next week with a new Google Tool!

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/

Change Our World for the Better – A Letter to the Next President

The Journalism class at my school participated in the Letters to the Next President writing project sponsored by Google and the National Writing Project.  Below is the submission by our assistant editor:

We want to have our voice heard.  Here at our [school] in Beaverton, Oregon, more than 75% of our student body was not able to vote in your election this November.  But we still have strong opinions on important issues of the day and about where our country and our whole world is going.  We want to help you change our country for the better and thus, change our world for the better. Although we could not help to choose our new president, we can still share or views so that you can keep teenagers in mind, as well as registered voters, during your presidency. We are the future and we will be voting in the next election, but we want our voice to be heard today as well as in four years.
 
From a poll conducted in some of Mr. T. Manning’s government class, some strong opinions on key issues of the day were voiced.  Many students cited the war in Iraq and the environment as topics that needed the most focus.  One government student stated that we need “to take care of the environment or it won’t be there for our children or grandchildren.”  “The economy, which is in such a bad condition right now, is interrelated (with) many other issues, such as energy and oil and the war (in Iraq).” The student who voiced this opinion also stated that she was strongly against the Iraq War and saw health care as a top priority. 
 
In a class of mostly fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds, the topic of energy and oil came up a lot more than you would expect from a pre-driving group.  One of the students said that she felt that it is really important for our country’s survival to become energy independent.  Many of the students also ask you to “focus on developing and improving alternate energy sources” to help stop our dependency on oil.  A couple of the students talked about the benefits of drilling in Alaska to remove our dependency on oil from foreign countries, but also one student wants “the long-term effects of offshore drilling and the harnessing of geothermal power* to be thoroughly considered.”  The student goes on to state that “medical advances might be hindered through the destruction of resources which have potentials (that are) not fully understood yet.”  Many other students cite the environment as an important issue; they ask you to protect the earth and save resources.  One student went on to say that “the environment should be saved, but not to the point where businesses can’t even open” because the land is being protected. 

Other issues mentioned briefly were same-sex marriage, tax breaks and health care.  One student asks for a “mandate to all people” regarding health care.  Another student states that “same-sex marriage should be allowed.  (Marriage is) a person’s choice, not society’s.”  The majority of the government students are against same-sex marriage, but it was not an overwhelming majority; many students said that marriage and sexual orientation are life choices not to be controlled by the government.  Many of the students said they were for tax breaks “to strengthen the economy,” but some were against such breaks.   The issue that was most strongly talked about was the war in Iraq.  The majority of the students were against the war, citing the enormous cost of the war as one of their main reasons for opposition.  Some ask you to pull the troops out or to at least not send anymore, but two students feel that we need to finish what we started.  One stated that “the Iraqi people cannot be left behind unless we know that there is a stable government (in Iraq),” while the other pro-war student insists that “if we pull troops now, we will have a bigger mess than we did to begin with.”

 So in conclusion, we hope that you keep our opinions and the opinions of other under 18-year-olds in mind during all your days in office.  We are considered to be too young to make a good decision while voting, but as you can see, we have our country and the whole world’s best interests at heart.  We would like to congratulate you on your amazing accomplishment, but also remind you of something you are probably told all the time: you have just accepted the job of either leading our country out of our “funk” or further into the dark.  We congratulate you and put our country in your hands and just ask you to keep us in your heart and mind.

Thank you for your consideration,

Katie M, Valiant Pride Assistant Editor

 *Geothermal power “is energy generated by heat stored in the earth, or the collection of absorbed heat derived from underground, in the atmosphere and oceans.”

—Wikipedia.com

Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Forms and Spreadsheets

Collecting data from multiples users has always been quite the challenge.  But now thanks to Google shared spreadsheets and forms – it’s a snap!

Just like Google Docs, spreadsheets can be shared with anyone.  This makes collecting information easier than ever.  Here are some examples of how I have used Google spreadsheets:

  • Collect names, addresses and emails of group members
  • Create a survey for opinions. votes, or preferences
  • Collaborate with others for data collection (ie, fast food nutritional information, State facts, Historical data)
  • Financial Planning or Budgets
  • Project planning
  • Student information

Here’s how:

  1. Before you start, decide how you want users to enter the data on a spreadsheet.
    • Access a Google spreadsheet and add the data directly on the spreadsheet.  Note:  All other data will be visible.
    • Email a form and users submit the data right from their email program.
    • Link to the published form from a URL.
    • Embed a form into a webpage and users submit the data from the embedded form
  2. You can create a new spreadsheet at http://docs.google.com by going to New / Spreadsheet. This will open a blank spreadsheet which you should name and save.  Enter your titles, data, or formulas and then click on the SHARE button to enter the email addresses of those you want to collaborate.  They will receive an email with a link to be able to access the spreadsheet.
  3. Another option is to upload an existing Excel spreadsheet.  Now you can access this data from any computer.
  4. If you would rather have the users enter the data into a FORM – go to New / Form and you will see the beginnings of a web form.  Add your questions and choose the type of answer:  text, paragraph, check boxes, multiple choice, choose from a list or Scale (1-n). When done, save and then choose to “publish” the form (it provides a long URL), “Email this form”, or from “More Actions”, get the embed code to embed the form into a webpage, wiki or blog.
  5. When users enter the data into the form and press submit, all of the data will be dropped into ONE spreadsheet.  This is an excellent way to gather data from multiple users.

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FILL OUT THIS SAMPLE FORM AND VIEW THE RESULTS AT: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=p_VM5beL2JAol78Ek1DwkSQ

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

Tech Tip Tuesday – Teaching Revision & Google Templates

By MaryFran Lynch

Revision

Last week we introduced you to Google Docs and gave you some ideas of times you might want to use the text feature to collaborate with your colleagues and times you might like to have your students use it. This week, we’d like to introduce you to one of the great features of Google Docs, Revision. The Revision feature keeps track of changes, when they were made, and, if the document has been shared with collaborators, who made them. It also gives you the opportunity to compare two versions of the document, and to revert to any of the previous versions. Whether you’re working on your own, or working with others, having a history of the different versions can be really helpful.

As a collaborator revises, their changes and comments can be made in different text colors. As a teacher, this gives you a great record of who has done the work, and when it was entered. You’ll need to be sure your students invite you to the Document as a collaborator so you have access to it and can revise it or leave comments on the document. And the great thing about leaving comments is that when you are ready to print, and click the Print link, none of the comments will show.

You’ll find this feature under File > Revision History
Teaching students how to revise is an important skill, especially when they are working collaboratively. Recognizing the need to teach that skill, Google teamed with Weekly Reader to help you teach revision skills in your classroom. Here you’ll find downloadable PDF files you can use with your students to help them learn collaborative revision skills.
Screen shot of Google Templates for Teachers and Students

Templates

Google has made it so easy to use Google Docs! They’ve even thought of a number of times you might like to use Google Docs and have made a Template Gallery with over 300 templates that are ready for you to use! You’ll find Templates under New > From template…

There you can perform a search for the kind of template your might like. There’s even a section devoted to Students and Teachers. You can find templates for your students to write a paper or for you to write a lesson plan. There are templates to help you make an online math quiz or templates to record grades.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll find templates for all kinds of things! Here are just a few examples of the kinds of templates Google is there to help you with:  calendars, invitations, gas mileage calculator. Take a look, more are becoming available all the time.

Just as with any Google Doc, you can share your template with others to collaborate or view, using the steps outlined last week.

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

Tech Tip Tuesday – Intro to Google Docs

Google’s focus will always be providing high quality search results but many of their other products have revolutionized how individuals share information and collaborate on documents.

This week’s tip is to introduce you to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.  Google Docs makes creating, editing and sharing documents so easy and best of all – it’s FREE!  Your documents are stored online and you can easily access them anytime and from any computer.
Do you know what that means?  No more keeping track of jump drives … no more emailing documents back and forth from home to work … no more worries about incompatible software programs.
HOW IT WORKS
First of all you need a Google account. You’ll be able to use your Google Account to use many of the tools Google has, and you don’t need to sign up for a Google e-mail account to have one. You will, however, need to provide an e-mail address and a password while filling in a short form.  Once you receive your verification e-mail, you’ll be ready to try Google Docs.If you have a gmail account, you can get to Google Docs by clicking on Documents usually found at the left-hand top of the page. Or you can go to http://docs.google.com/ and click on the NEW button (upper left) to create a document, spreadsheet, presentation or form.  You can start from scratch or upload an existing document that you already have on your computer.
Google Docs has basic editing features like font effects, images, tables. If you’re interested in more advanced publishing features, you can easily export the files to other programs (hint:  you can download your docs in a variety of formats:  HTML, OpenOffice, PDF, Word, RTF and more).
THE BEST PART
So why use Google Docs?  Your document is stored online. And now you have a document online, you can access it from any computer at home and work (or Starbucks!) but here’s the best part … you can invite others to view or edit the document online (use the SHARE button on upper right side) and everyone can make changes to the document, EVEN AT THE SAME TIME!!!
Just think .. no more emailing drafts back and forth to team members … everyone can add their own revisions to the same document and watch it improve.  Google Docs encourages collaboration and keeps the documents organized in one location.  You can view the revision history to see who made which edits or even revert to a previous version.
IT’S SO EASY
So now you have an easy way to create or edit existing documents from anywhere, share and collaborate instantly, and eliminate confusing email attachments and version-control issues.
Watch a video on getting started with Google Docs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyjY8ZLzZrw

Coming next …  Google Doc templates, forms for data collection, using Google Docs with your students, publishing your documents online and even more!
Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

Image credit:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Usbdrive_icon.svg

Reflections from Google Teacher Academy

I’ve been so busy hosting family this past weekend that I haven’t had a chance to finish my blog post about Google Teacher Academy.

First of all, I must thank Cristin Frodella from Google and the folks from Cue (Mark Wagner and Mike Lawrence), WestEd and all the returning GCTs for hosting this year’s Google Teacher Academy. It was truly a honor to be selected to represent Oregon and private school teachers everywhere at the academy.

I will blog about the new features of the Google tools that were shared …but for now I am just processing the experience.

Another huge thank you goes out to Sallie Hill and Brian Mull for starting the wikis that allowed us “out-of-towners” to virtually meet and make plans to get together. Meeting these fabulous teachers face-to-face made all the difference in my Google Teacher Academy experience. Our local tour guide, the PodPirate himself, organized get togethers the night before the academy (see photo above), that evening and a tour to Monterey Bay Aquarium the next day for those still in town (photos). Having the social time to meet and share ideas with the other GCTs was SO valuable that I recommended that next year’s Academy should encourage it!!!

I was already pretty familiar with many of the Google tools but the critical piece that I was missing was how easy it was to SHARE with others what you make with the tools. Cheryl Davis and Kathleen Ferenz are working on a cool project for the upcoming elections. Did you know that you can take an ENTIRE TAB from you iGoogle home page that you designed with widgets and RSS feeds and SHARE IT with your friends and colleagues???

I had seen Jerome Burg’s Google Lit Trips before and wanted to dive deeper into how he organizes these projects in the classroom but there was just too much to learn so I will explore more on my own.

Try Google 411 by calling 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). Its’ Google new service that allows you to call from your cell phone and ask questions and look for businesses based on zipcode and if your cell phone has Internet, it will also provide maps. http://www.google.com/goog411/index.html#utm_source=us-et-more&utm_medium=et&utm_campaign=GOOG-411

Oh, there is so much more … EVEN MORE!

So, for now I am energize to plan how I will use all these great tools of Google in my classroom and begin working on some professional development for teachers at our school and in my area.

Meanwhile, check out the Google Almanac – created by Google Certified Teachers.

Featured in Google Docs for Education blog

Last month Google Docs sent out a request to educators to share how they use Google Docs in Education.  Selected entries are showcased on their blog and mine was chosen!!!  Here’s what i submitted:

In my attempt to avoid sitting through days and days of PowerPoint presentations in my high school computer classes (and boring the students in the process), I decided to upload each of my students Online Safety PowerPoint’s to a Google account and the class joined the presentation. One student talked aloud while everyone listened and chatted about the presentation.  The students asked questions in the chat, added their own information and followed along in the presentation.

For the first time I can EVER remember as a teacher – 100% of the students were engaged in the presentation and participated in the chat.  The students were enthusiastic and offered insightful and appropriate comments.  The students liked being able to add their input without interrupting the presentation.  I will definitely use Google shared presentations again.

I love Google Docs and use them all the time in my classroom.  Here are a few other ideas:

  • Editing stories written by newspaper staff
  • Collecting addresses for mail merge
  • Surveys
  • Collaborative group planning for projects
  • Collecting real time data (science experiment, calorie counting, etc)

Check out how other Educators are using Google Docs here!