Last year was my first year with chromebooks for every student but for only one class. I think it was a great way for me to start off small and try a few new things to see what worked without getting overwhelmed attempting to reform all of my classes at once. This year, I should have chromebooks for all classes.
I would like to share 5 of my favorite tools how we used them throughout the year:
1. Google Classroom
It is a lifesaver for staying organized with assignments, making copies of digital resources for students and sharing other resources quickly. I love Classroom's ease of use and speed of posting and collecting assignments. I no longer hand out any paper copies of assignments at all and my students complete all of their lab reports digitally. No longer do I hear the comments -"I lost my lab Mrs. Cauthers, can I have another copy?" or "I forgot my lab at home." There are a few small cons, such as turning in and grading group work. It's not very seamless, but there are many ways around it, such as having students submitting a google form that has a shared link for their digital assignment for a project.
2. Google Slides
We used slides for almost anything in our class. Here are just a few applications:
- Hyperdocs - I like the slide by slide organization for portions of assignments to create interactive unit long assignments that have videos, notes, online resources, areas for reflection, creation and assessment.
- Student projects - students can each submit a slide for a class presentation, allows for embedding video, images, and charts. Easily organizes content. Can create image maps that are interactive too.
- Q&A- interactive questions and answers during class discussions, polling during class and formative assessments
- Digital plan book - I created all of my lesson plans for each unit in slides, embedding my videos, digital notes, and even links to the google classroom assignments
This is a great tool for students to create concept maps, interactive/hyperlinked images, and lab drawings. The drawings can be embedded into a Google Slide show, web page, and so much more. Students could even use slides and screencastify to animate their drawings.
I know it is cliche, but teenagers use YouTube for almost anything. Why not leverage it in the classroom? I used YouTube as a resource where students would critically analyze a video they found, a library of video notes and explanations and lab setup explanations instead of repeating myself. This coming year, I would like students to create their own YouTube channels to showcase their personal creations for class, such as video reviews on a topic, lab summaries, and more.
I have so many ideas for this coming school year, but try no to overwhelm my students with too many resources all at once. I like to see them get proficient with a few tools and find what works best for them along the way before we add more.
I would love to hear any ideas that you would like to share for your personal favorites.