How much do I love Google apps? Let me count the ways! Google has a plethora of tools that can enhance the classroom experience for students and help teachers to communicate more effectively with parents and faculty members.
One of the first Google tools that I put to use in my classroom was my Google sites. There is no need to write code; Google makes creating a site quick and easy! On my site I posted assignments, links to internet resources, my contact information and much more. Having a website that I could share with my students and their families was a great way for me to streamline communication and a way for me to open the door to technology in my classroom.
One of the most overwhelming things that we experience as teachers is grading assessments. After my first year teaching I was determined to find a way to make grading easier and less time consuming. After all the whole purpose of giving students assessments is so that we may look at the data and determine how best to support them in learning skills and content. I decided to use Google forms to give assessments and found great success. My students had very little difficulty taking a submitting tests in this format. Once I gave the assessment I was able to use Google sheets to sort and grade the assessment. I recently discovered another tool that will cut down grading in the Google sheet significantly. Using the Google script Flubaroo you can get instant feedback on your students performance. Flubaroo will also allow you to email the results to each individual student. Another step that is valuable is using the “show data summary” option in Google sheets. Once you have given an assessment using a form and you will then go to the Google sheet to find the results. Then, you will be able to use the show data summary feature. This feature allows you to look at graphs for each question from the assessment and they are created instantly. I have found it highly effective to share this data with my students. We often will use these graphs as a class to set goals and reflect on our learning. I have also found this tool to be valuable when determining if I need to reteach a certain standard and determining how I am going to differentiate instruction.
In my current position, as an instructional coach, I have also found great success adopting Google apps. I am able to share my calendar with my co workers; this makes it much easier to schedule meetings since we might not cross paths going from school to school. We also use Google plus to communicate with our teachers and administrators. Because we work remotely we have also used Google hangouts to meet and plan for PD and much more. Finally, I am using Google docs to type this assignment. I am able to share my work with others and everything is save instantly on my drive so that I may access it later for my Capstone project.