Google- Streamlining the Classroom
Digital learning today is opening up classrooms to the world by providing teachers with the tools, access, and opportunities, which is enabling personalized learning programs for all students. I’d like to recognize the digital instructional practices that are being effectively integrated by teachers across our country, strengthening and positively impacting student’s learning experiences.
Bill Shidler – @bshidler
Bio: Bill Shidler
School District/State/Country – Delphi Community Elementary School, Delphi Community School District, Indiana, United States; Occupation – 4/5 High Ability Educator; Twitter – @bshidler; Website/blog – http://dces45.weebly.com/
I believe in working smarter and not harder. As educators, our role has changed. I have found a method to cut out writing extensive plans for absent students, curating content for students to be excited by, and being able to work for any place where there is internet access – this helps!
Years in Education – I am involved in my 20th year of education; 8 years were spent as the building-level principal; Have led several trainings with focus on technology integration and more;
I looked toward Google to help streamline what it is we do each and every day……….
How do we utilize Google Presentation in DCES4/5? DCES4/5 stands for our learning community – our Delphi Community Elementary School 4th & 5th grade classroom.
With all the demands on students, teachers, and parents, I looked toward Google to help streamline what it is we do each and every day. For the last several years, I have begun the year by sketching out my school day. Most people sketch this out via paper/pencil. However, I have begun to digitize what we do. We begin each learning day with a warm-up activity, followed by mathematics, reading, writing, word study, & science/social studies. After this, I create some templates of each day of the week (Monday-Friday). As you know, when you create a Google Presentation, you are creating an URL. I take this URL and attach it to my website. From a planning perspective, I duplicate the week’s slides so I have a slide for every day of the school year. I do this for the entire year. As I plan for school, I create each day’s slide to relate the day’s lesson to the kids (the day’s slide is projected on the Smart Board and any changes are automatically updated on the website). What the kids see every day is found on both the Smart Board (projected) and made available to parents with web access as a link on our website As each day passes, I push that slide to the end of the running presentation so always that present day is most easily found via the web and as the top slide. Furthermore, students who are absent know exactly where to turn if they miss any schooling. Additionally, all my students have access to laptops so we are moving toward that true 1:1 environment. If this focus page is no longer projected, most of my kids will have a tab open on their laptop so they can see the day at a glance at any time!
Administrators have asked for there to be a purpose to each activity. As I review the state standards (Indiana) and Common Core, I often put a ‘Students will……’ statement for each subject area on the presentation. These statements are documented by hand on each child’s focus page for his/her benefit. It helps to establish a reason for what it is we are doing during an activity. I also embed/curate content on the presentation so students can click on a link to be taken somewhere via the web for additional information or practice on a skill. All other teachers often mindlessly hand-write their activity’s focus on the chalkboard only to erase it at the end of the day and painfully do it time after time – not me, mine are forever found on our Google Presentation. One could see what activities we did every day of the year…….and many kids do look back and recall that day based on what they read for that day.
As a teacher, I am able to ‘plan’ and curate content from anywhere. No longer do I lug home teacher editions (all are found online), nor do I have to write out by hand the activities for the upcoming day, week, or month. Instead of erasing when there is an unexpected cancellation, delay, or more, I can copy and paste from Google Presentation into the slide I want. Again, immediately, those changes are seen by anyone reviewing the file online through the website. I have seen many teacher’s planners and I feel sorry for them as they erase, scribble out, and rewrite complex plans – not me!
How are you utilizing Google to curate and streamline content in the classroom? Share your ideas and lessons.