Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Google classroom - using the question feature

I have in previous posts shared my enthusiasm for Google classroom.  It is a perfect tool to enable collaboration amongst students, to ensure fast and effective feedback and at the very least to keep tabs on the work your students have and haven't done.

Google Classroom allows you to post an announcement or set an assignment attaching any kind of document you want, be it spreadsheet, document, picture or presentation. The attachment can be copied for each individual student in your class and they can then work on the document whilst you are able to keep tabs on the work they are doing.  Furthermore you can make comments on their work, having highlighted any particular issues and talk to them directly via the chat tool. Other options allow you to reuse any previous post if so desired. However, one element that I like but I have not really made the most of is the question feature. 

This is a very simple tool where you simply post a question,  set a due date (or not, as you wish) and let your students respond.  I have used this tool to 'crowd source' some good ideas from my year 10s and to help students get some ideas for creative pieces of writing. 

Here's a good example of how the question feature can work for you and your students. 


I posed this question and received the following answers. 


Not a bad array of answers and these were just a few of them.  The students found it useful to see each other's responses and have asked me to pose some other questions that will help them and give them some ideas on a variety of topics such as how best to start an essay, idioms, how to make their responses to some topics more interesting.  

I think this is an invaluable tool and certainly one worth exploring if you haven't already.

Let me know how you get on.






Friday, 3 June 2016

Post-it notes for the tech classroom

YI love using post-it notes in my classroom.  They are the perfect place to jot down 'one thing you have learnt today', or 'one thing you wish you knew better'. You know the sort of thing I mean - a plenary tool that you can keep and peruse to guide you for your next lesson.  On occasion, I pull out the post-it notes a week or so later and challenge my students to tell me if they now know 'how to form.....?'.  In terms of AFL and a type of exit ticket, post-it notes do a great job.
Why then, if this lovely paper tool works well, do we need to do anything else.  Why do we need to 'techify' it? 

For me, it's simple and this list might help you share my enthusiasm.
1. The ability to save the post-it notes electronically.
2. Order and re-order them
3. Re-organise them so as to highlight better a particular point.

4. Share the post-it's with the class as a PowerPoint or PDF via email (or google classroom if you have it). 

5. Highlight a particular issue on one of the post-its to share with the rest of the class. 


6. Start your next lesson with the best/most-interesting/thought-provoking post-it note.
7. End your next lesson with best/most interesting/thought-provoking post-it note.
8. Embed one or more of the post-its in a PowerPoint for the following lesson. Students love to see their work on the board and this is a really powerful way to share their work.  

In addition, it is so easy to use.  Once the post-it notes are on the board you simple open up the post-it app and snap a photo of them post-its.  It's a simple open and click.

So, if you fancy having a go, download the app (for free) and let me know how you get on in the comments box below.