Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: Efficiently Effective Tech Tools for YOU!

As I was hanging out at my friend Aimee's house working on a number of school-related things, her three year-old son came up to me and said, "You work too hard."

This same statement can be said about anyone in education - we work and continue to strive to do more for the betterment of our students' learning. Whether that is staying later to help small groups after school, to coming in early to reorganize an assignment or task, all of these work to benefit student learning styles. Each of these things and more we do, each and everyday. We are educators.

Centering in on the different forms of an assignment or task, there are some great tools to assign - both Google Drive itself and a Google Script called Doctopus that Aimee told me about. These elements can take Google Drive Assignments and management pieces to a new level of efficiency and effectiveness in the classroom. 

Highlighting our App Symbaloo: With Google Drive in docs, presentations, spreadsheets and more with and for our students, we can take learning with organization and efficiency to the next level in creating new learning opportunities and modes of exhibiting mastery of content.

Innovative Practices: Tying into Google Drive, Doctopus (click to watch the tutorial videos) is an amazing script tie in - with it, you are able to (1) send out an assignment into a folder already copies (avoiding the timeliness of students 'making a copy' of the assignment), (2) flexibly group students with modifers to send out different forms of the assignment with only a few clicks, and (3) manage, track, and give feedback within the same spreadsheet where you send out assignments - including attaching rubrics and grading. This means less steps for you and your students in sending out assignments, grading, and organization, meaning MORE time for instruction.

If you haven't tried a lot with Google Drive, start small in just using Google Docs for a week in journaling. Or perhaps tie in a Google Presentation integrating learner collaboration in creating it. Maybe a shared drawing over a new math problem is the way to go - the possibilities are endless!

As I reflect on my little three year-old buddy's comment, and the time and effort we give for teaching. I think about all of the smiling faces and brightened eyes of our students that are impacted by what we do. Their joys in seeing their engaged minds through new doors of learning unlocked with innovative application is certainly a sight to see. The journey that we are on is truly remarkable as we ride the wave of Waukesha One, together!

Thanks to all of us for collaborating together in this journey - a special shoutout of thanks to Aimee Hyland of Waukesha STEM Randall for teaching and collaborating with me about Doctopus and letting me share the story to blog readers!!!

What are your ideas? Reflect, share and comment!!! We welcome your questions, reflections, new ideas, shared collaborations as we work to make a difference in the lives of our students and the next generation!

1 comment:

  1. Tracy, you are too kind! You are so right about working hard though. We all are working hard to bring the best we possibly can to ALL our students, which is really tough. What I love about Google Drive and now the amazing Doctopus is that it really can make that "hard work" so much easier. Happy to share my exploration of Doctopus with you (and you readers now too!). I just couldn't be happier in how simple it has made sharing differentiated items with a multitude of students. Keep up your great "hard" work. Those students are SO lucky to have you working for them! :)