Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Google Gathering

Summertime is a time for relaxing, refreshing, and … oh yes, PD.  Twenty five of my Webb City friends recently attended the Google Gathering in Girard, Kansas.  What a great way to spend a summer day!

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Webb City Staff with our Bright Future T-shirts
Our team generated a lot of new ideas. I attended sessions by Kyle Pace, Judy Griffin, and Ryan Loots. These sessions discussed using Google forms to assess student learning, Google Drive, using Google Hangouts (GHO), and creating an online textbook using Google Sites. The day also brought about an aha moment, “our team has learned SO MUCH about technology in the past year”. It was encouraging to gather new ideas during this gathering, but we also celebrated how much we have learned and applied in our classrooms already.

Things we have learned in the past year:

1. We can't live without Google Drive in the classroom.

We use it for reading, writing, spelling, math, social studies, and science.  Did I leave anything out? We use it in EVERY subject.
You might ask how we use Google Drive.  There are so many possibilities but I’ve listed a few examples below.

  • Responding to reading
  • Collaborating with other students (even in other buildings)
  • Assessing using Google Forms

  • Creating blog posts and using the comment tool to gather feedback from students and teachers

  • Creating word sorts
  • Sharing with teacher

  • Sharing student created videos with classmates and teachers

Science/Social Studies
  • Collaborating with students in other classrooms
  • Sharing projects
  • Researching
  • Writing, editing, and sharing research

2.  Google Drive requires trial and error to accomplish great things.  It's amazing that my techy friends and I made it through the past year. I'm pretty sure our patience grew 10 fold over the year. We became experts at practicing the stress relief activities our school counselors always talk to our students about...but in the end I wouldn't change a single thing.  I LOVE THE TECH IN MY CLASSROOM and I LOVE what students are creating.

3.  You can not be successful in the techy world ALONE.  Find a buddy teacher, Twitter friend, or expert. Share and collaborate! This is a must!

Finally, I've learned I can't teach without technology, especially Google Drive. It has engaged my students, fostered creativity, and become a tool my students use daily.

If you need more information about using Google Docs in your classroom, check out these resources:

Do you have a creative way to use Google Drive with your students/staff or a great resource? Please share.  We LOVE new ideas.

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