Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ideas for Using Google Drive in the Classroom

I am so happy that our school district uses Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for several reasons. Particularly, Google Drive is fabulous because:

  • the kids use it 
  • it's accessible anywhere (not just on our school network)
  • it works (!)
  • resources for how to use it are available everywhere you look! (Just Google it!) (Ok, that was cheesy)

A member of the Google+ Community "Using Google Apps as a Free LMS" posted this fantastic video with great ideas, Using Google Drive with a textbook in the classroom:

What I love about it is that Andreas Hofer demonstrates specific uses for how a teacher could teach a lesson using Google Drive; from having students check their answers to listening to audio files for a comprehension exercise. He makes it look so easy! A summarized list of some concepts he covered:
  1. Sharing the folders and making them viewable to the public
  2. Animating text on the Slides to reveal answers
  3. Inserting a Drawing shape to cover up answers
  4. Using media to enrich the textbook: Inserting a video, an image, and an audio file
  5. Using the Snagit extension to select an image of the digital textbook
  6. Linking directly to items in your Google Drive
This video was helpful for giving me ideas to take to teacher trainings. I subscribed to his channel to see what else he cares to share!

PS: Take a look at the video's transcript. :D

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Sponsoring a club is easy!" (Said no teacher ever)

Have you ever found yourself voluntold to sponsor/coach clubs, organizations, and sports? Chances are that your principal asked, told, or maybe even begged (!) you to be in charge of a club that will give so many well-deserving children the opportunity to learn and grow. During my eight years of teaching, I have had a positive (borderline obnoxiously positive!) attitude about change. Although challenging at times, a positive attitude made even the most stressful situations bearable. When I'd find myself in a panic, I'd tell myself that everything was going to be okay and to not forget that it's all for the kids! So, with each task bestowed upon me, I welcomed the challenge and always ended up loving it! 

If you've ever had this experience, you know that we do it for the kids. They're the ones that drive the excitement in the club and motivate us to work harder (and longer hours) for them! I'd like to share some tools that have either helped me with my organizational skills and productivity, and/or improved the member recruitment and retention. 
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here are some clubs that I've sponsored/coached:
  • Cheerleading
  • Debate
  • National Honors Society
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • Yearbook
  • DECA (Marketing club)
QR Codes
  1. Post a QR code on your club bulletin board
  2. Print QR codes on meeting notes
  3. Make a large calendar in the classroom or bulletin board with QR codes on the days. 
  4. All these can be scanned to:
  • download important dates directly to their calendars
  • open a map to a competitive event or charity event
  • open a website 
  • open a document using TagMyDoc
  • check out the links below for MANY more ideas!
    5. Video to get ideas on how a high school uses them:
    6. Excellent links to resources & videos:

QR Code scanner - QR Reader for iOS and QR Barcode Scanner for Android
QR Code Generator - QRstuff.com

Make a poster of an ifaketext conversation about a club meeting. This one really got their attention! 

Have students use Quizlet to make flash cards to study for competition. They can use the website or download the app (iOS or Android). Bonus!! Some "sets" of flashcards have already been created! Just search for a subject and BAM! You've got a set of flashcards ready to study!