Continuing to keep up with the ever changing tech world takes time but this is essential to the success of our students. Google has been moving and shaking the tech world for some time and I have just been introduced to Google drive. This online tool is a very valuable tool in the classroom.
The objectives for this artifact are:
- to have the students identify the five applications available to them on Google Drive
- to create assigned writing projects in Google drive and be able to share with their classmates and teachers
- to turn in completed work using Google forms
All Saints Catholic School
- English/Language Arts
- Initial lesson will last 30-45 minutes (This lesson plan is suitable for instructing teachers how to integrate Twitter in the classroom also.)
- Additional mini-lessons will occur as usage increases
Common Core State Standards
- W.CCR.6 – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
- Integrating Google drive in the classroom will provide the students with an opportunity to work on assignments from school or home without interruption. Students will be able to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and then turn completed work in using a pre-established form created by their teacher.
Students will be able to:
- create assigned documents, presentations, and spreadsheets to be published using Google drive
- turn completed work electronically
- collaborate with peers in group projects
- communicate with their teacher from school and home in the event of absence
- Student access to Google drive
- Smartboard or type of projection equipment
- Teacher access to the internet
Teaching students how to best utilize Google drive will be an ongoing lesson throughout the school year. An Acceptable Use Policy will be read and signed by each student and their parents/guardians prior to any access to technology in the school. Initially, students will be shown how to log in to Google using their assigned user name and password. Once they have mastered this process, the teacher will demonstrate how to use Google docs and then turn in the assignment using Google forms. A short writing prompt will then be assigned. This process will be repeated for initial introduction to spreadsheets and presentations.
As this will be an ongoing process throughout the year, mini-lessons will be delivered as will one-on-one assistance as needed. Since children are naturally curious, much of what they learn will be through hands-on experience.
Students will be assessed on their ability to
- create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets ready to be published
- turn in completed assignments using Google forms
Google drive is a completely new resource for me and I have to give one hundred percent credit to Dr. Schroeder for introducing me to it. The school where I teach is small but has a sufficient supply of computers for our students to utilize. Unfortunately, we were relying on something called the “transfer server.” In its time, this server was state of the art; however, times have changed.
During my first few months of teaching I tried to use the server but experienced epic failure. Not knowing why I could not have all of my students on the server at once, I backed off having my students using the computers. I later found out the transfer server could only accommodate four to five students being simultaneously logged on the server at once. This immediately explained why I was having issues. My next problem was how to get an entire class on the computers. I tried to stagger the students but that led to assignments that took forever to complete. Over time, computer usage in my class dwindled down to the occasional Power Point presentation or brochure made through Publisher.
Finding this horribly frustrating, I almost admitted defeat which is totally out of character for me. Then I enrolled in the Master of Educational Technology program at Boise State University. This is where I began to find answers to my nagging technology issues. At the beginning of the semester I was feeling totally overwhelmed and completely lost. Doubt began to wash over me but then there was an “ah ha” moment. Actually there have been too many of those moments to quantify. Google drive was a huge awakening for me.
Initially I was apprehensive but then I began to realize how useful Google drive would be in my classroom. Then I remembered what happened when I downloaded Google Chrome in October. I managed to disconnect my access to the Smartboard, the Accelerated Math scanner, and printer. I was gently chastised for this and told not to use Chrome. Needless to say this was turned into an example of what not to do for the other teachers. Since that time I received an upgraded computer and was granted permission to use Google Chrome.
Fearing disaster, I asked before implementing Google Chrome on the student computers and was told this time to go for it. I did not ask twice. Placing one student on each of the computers in the classroom and library, the 4th grade conducted a massive download of Google Chrome. It was so cool to watch the students doing this. Once this was completed, I pulled them back in the classroom and walked them through Google docs. The rest is history. We have been using Google docs to create research documents and most recently poetry. The poetry was first placed in a document; then the students copied and pasted the text into a presentation slide. Next the students were able to choose the background and type of font. I then took each slide and created one large presentation for everyone to enjoy. The students were so proud of their product. Seeing their reaction to something so simple, serves as a catalyst for me to continue to share with not only the children, but the staff as well.
TeachThought Staff. (2012). A case study: Using google drive in the classroom. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/a-case-study-using-google-drive-in-the-classroom/
TeachThought Staff. (2012_. 5 simple ways to use google docs in the classroom. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/5-simple-ways-to-use-google-docs-in-the-classroom/