Google Classroom: Getting Started

Thinking about using Google Classroom this year? Do it! It’s really easy and versatile. If you want to learn more, and you’re lucky enough to have already registered, you can come see me present this Friday at the SPARCC Education Conference. But, if you’re unable to make it, you can watch this video series instead.

Go ahead and contact me if you need any more help setting up your Google Classroom!

Kaizena Voice Comments

There have been many times I have been evaluating my students’ work during my planning period and thought, “Ugh, I wish they were just sitting next to me right now so I could talk to them rather than typing out this comment.” An add-on for Google Docs called Kaizena allows for recording and receiving audio comments! I definitely plan on trying it this year.

In my newest video series, you can learn how to get Kaizena, how to leave a voice comment, and how to listen to a voice comment. The whole series is 299 seconds, or just shy of 5 minutes. Watch this instead of cat videos today!


Google Drive Video Series

I created this video series to help teachers understand the basics and some of the more advanced features of Google Drive. Since I created it as a playlist, you can skip around to just watch the unfamiliar topics. I hope you can learn at least one tidbit that will save you time and hassle so that you have more time and energy for your students this school year.

The beautiful bullet

Organizing things (like similar puzzle pieces, office supplies, jewelry, etc.) is one of my favorite activities. Organizing thoughts definitely takes more effort, but is so worth the resulting clarity and conciseness. I find a thoroughly considered list to be a beautiful thing. Google Docs provides bullet and numbered lists for this purpose.

As a teacher, I’m responsible for helping my students learn to communicate their thoughts. Giving them the technical skills to create (and edit) such a structure through technology is appropriate for almost all ages. In the videos below, you’ll see how to create a lovely list, and be given a beginning-of-year assignment idea for teaching your students the tech skill. BONUS: Your model and their assignment helps you get to know each other and create rapport!

Once students are proficient with creating these hierarchical lists, you could use them for note-taking, pre-writing or assessment in any content area.