Google Classroom

EC&I 834 Summary of Learning

Posted on April 10, 2017. Filed under: digital citizenship, Eci834, Garageband, Google Classroom, Masters, Social Media, Technology |

I used Emaze.com for my summary of learning! It’s a great alternative to Powerpoint, Keynote, or Prezi as a presentation tool. One of Emaze’s options is to create a mini site. It’s a really neat way to showcase learning!

Here is a quick screen cast to explain how to navigate the mini site.

Explore my Summary of Learning mini site for yourself here.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Feedback Considerations

Posted on April 9, 2017. Filed under: Eci834, Google Classroom, Masters, Technology |

It was great to hear the positive feedback around our Genius Hour course prototype. Our group had a lot of fun putting together the online Genius Hour course, and we wanted it to be as practical and usable as possible.

Initially, we had the course set for grades 3-8.  I am a grade two teacher, and tried to Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.12.21 PMmake my course content accessible and readable enough for grade two students.  However, one of the comments and feedback we received quite often was that people were worried about the content level and reading level for the youngest (grade 3) students. Our group took this into consideration and decided to change our grade level to 5-8.  The course can be adapted if need be to the younger grades, but people were right; some of the modules would be a little difficult for those young ones. It was a simple change that our group was happy to do.

Our group chose blogging as the “thread” that would tie all our modules together. We Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.13.57 PMeach had different content, and we figured blogging would be a good way to root the students in something similar throughout all of them.  We had decided that the teacher who was doing this online course would have taught the students how to blog before starting this course, but I guess we didn’t quite make that clear enough.  We have now added this into our course.  If for some reason the student missed the class where they learned how to set up their own blog, they can watch the video and make one for themselves.

One of the comments that we got was that our Google Classroom set up was very easy to follow. This took me a very long time to do, but I am glad I did it. Our whole group just put in assignments as we finished them, and our stream was pretty chaotic.  We had Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.14.55 PMvideos and assignments from different modules all over the place. Once everyone had all of their content in Google Classroom, I went through and reverse organized them. In the top right hand corner of each assignment it says move to top.  So I started at the last assignment and moved it to the top.  I then worked backwards all the way until the very first assignment, so that the first assignment you see is the Introduction 1.1, and then 1.2 etc. This only works if you can import all of your content before the students start the online module.  If you are adding content daily with students, this option is not available.

Someone suggested that the last video and slideshow in my module are a little bit Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.15.51 PMdifficult (content wise) for young students. They are totally right. I only added those in because I didn’t feel like I gave the “works cited” portion of my module enough learning time. So that said, I’ve decided to change the instructions so that the videos/slides can be for those students who are interested in going above and beyond.  Perhaps they want to move from a “meeting” to “established” knowledge of digital citizenship.
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.16.48 PM

The only other feedback I would like to comment on would be how the content is organized. I think as people get used to Google Classroom, they would realize that we had two ways to view content. You could click on the “Topics” tab, and see each of our
individual units/modules as a cluster, or you could follow the
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.18.06 PM stream in order from 1.1 to 5.5 which included the assessments and evaluations.

Overall, I find that the peer feedback was an excellent way to improve this course. It makes me wish I would have actually filled out more course evaluations during my University career haha! Teachers give great feedback, and our group was happy to change our course to make it more accessible, available, and appropriately levelled. Thanks to everyone who had a chance to give us some feedback! I would love to share our module with others who would like to use this online Genius Hour course in their class!

Here are all the blogposts about our course prototype.

If you would like to check out our course prototype, please go to Google Classroom and use the class code: ku6m8y The course outline is under the “About” section.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Classroom Interactions Online

Posted on March 7, 2017. Filed under: digital citizenship, Eci834, educational, Genius Hour, Google Classroom, Masters, Social Networking, teaching and learning, Technology |

As I was reading through this week’s assigned chapters, I became very thankful that Alec and Katia know this research well, and have shown our class, by example, what online learning should/can look like. As I was thinking about learning communities, I decided that one of the reasons why I feel our class’s learning community connects so well is because of the systems this class has in place to connect with others.

  1. Zoom live video. I can’t think of a better tool to feel like part of the class without a classroom. Even if most students don’t speak out loud during the classes, the live feature of being able to see everyone if you wanted, really helps with accountability and presence.
  2. Zoom chat. I compare this to when the chapter was talkingzoom about the MSN chat. Having the chat option during the live feed really builds community as there can be joking go on, side conversations and little comments here and there that not only make people feel like they are contributing, but encourages participation.
  1. Zoom breakout rooms. These short small group interactions help put faces to names, and allows you to feel like you know at least a few people on a more personal level. Usually during these breakout sessions, you at least find out what grade the other people teach and possibly one or two things about their classroom.
  2. Twitter chats. Using a class hashtag is an effective way to have asynchronous twitterconversation and sharing with classmates. Because of it’s ‘favourite’ and ‘retweet’ options, you feel connected with other members of the class even when you are not speaking face to face.
  3. Google+. Because of its closed/private discussion boards, Google+ can feel like a safer social media sharing platform than Facebook or Twitter. There isn’t a chance of anyone else (besides those in the class) that could read the posts. I think this helps people feel secure when they share something.

I love Shweir’s definition of participation in regards to online learning communities. He says participation is

“social interaction, especially participation that promotes self- determination, respects the autonomy of members and sustains the community” (2002).

This is important as it moves past the definition of raising your hand- virtually, or face to face.  I also know from my own experience that mandatory participation and participation marks don’t automatically equal engagement. There have been discussion boards and conversations that I have been involved in only for the sake of that participation mark.

171420476_7346bf964c_o

“Power Law of Participation” photo credit: Ross Mayfield via Flickr

Pedagogically speaking, I really feel like we need to move past participation marks… into finding ways for authentic participation and engagement that promotes a growth mindset. Our group has decided to use Google Classroom as our LMS. I have been learning about the different ways Google Classroom allows students to get involved within that platform, and I have been thinking about ways to use that platform to the best of my ability.

google-classroom

Our group has decided to use blogging/pingbacks as a way for students to interact with the teacher and each other. We have also thrown around the idea of having the students use Twitter or another similar tool to connect with each other. (Rochelle’s post this week confirmed this is always a great tool) BUT the more I think about it, the more I feel like Google+ might be the better option because we chose Google Classroom as the LMS, but I could be wrong. What do you think? Should our group use Google+ as an added learning community just because we are using GC as the learning management system? Do you think that kids will buy in more, or have a better understanding of how the tool works because it’s created by the same company?

This journal article talks about how gamification and student competitiveness can boost student learning. I know that I love a healthy competition between friends or classmates. That is why for my module, I chose to have the students share their score from a digital citizenship game that they will be taking part in. I created a Google Form for them to input screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-11-15-26-pmtheir answers. This game is a fun way to make dig cit choices, and because there’s really no right or wrong answers in this game, sharing their score is a healthy way to promote participation and a little competition within their learning community. Along with the score, they will be writing how they think they could improve their score if they played the game again.  This way, they are also sharing tips and tricks  with their classmates that will share their knowledge on good digital citizenship behaviour.

 

I believe the best way to have student interactions that are meaningful, relevant and supportive, is to have the students engage with relevant content and actually care about what they are talking about. I think our group has a hand up in this sense as our group is

9071497283_cc939f24a5_z

“Genius Hour” photo credit Denise Krebs via Flickr

doing Genius Hour which is where the students get to learn about whatever they want! Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of ways to make curriculum fun and engaging, but I am very excited to see how the students will build a specialized learning community throughout this process.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )

Getting Started with Google Classroom

Posted on January 29, 2017. Filed under: digital citizenship, Eci834, educational, Genius Hour, Google Classroom, Masters, online safety, Technology |

Our ECI834 group has chosen to use Google Classroom as an LMS. It seems to be the most practical choice as many of us will have opportunities to use it now (or later) in our classrooms.

google-classroom

Photo credit: Alice Keeler via alicekeeler.com

I, for one, have not tested out Google Classroom before as I have taught grade 1 or 2 for the past 5 years and it’s a little bit too difficult to navigate for that age group. Instead, I have used SeeSaw pretty extensively. (Which I love btw!)

I am hoping to move up in grades in the next little while, so I know I will be able to use Google Classroom more and more.  I’m especially excited to use it for Genius Hour with older students.

The first thing I had to do in Google Classroom was create a class. I asked my group if we each wanted to create our own class for this project, or if we should have one class with different units. We decided on just one class.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-9-09-03-pm

That meant that the next thing I needed to do was add my group as co-collaboraters within our “Genius Hour” class. For that, I googled “collaborate with other teachers on Google Classroom.” Helpful Google gave me step by step instructions, and the first thing I had to do was go to the ‘About’ tab, and “Invite Teachers.”  The only problem was that there was no one to invite! I tried typing in my group’s email addresses, and it didn’t work. Nothing came up.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-9-18-03-pm

It turns out I needed to have these teachers as contacts before I could invite them to collaborate. So I had to open up ‘My Contacts’ with this specific Gmail account and add each of my group members as contacts.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-8-54-33-pm

This step seemed a little excessive, as I feel like I should have been able to input their email address directly into Google classroom. It was especially difficult as a couple of my group member’s uregina emails didn’t work.  Once we got that sorted out, I was able to add all of my group as co-teachers for our class.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-9-21-34-pm

Now I needed to create an assignment and somehow organize it so that my assignments would only show up in my module.  Google Classroom has a “Stream” for the students, and things show up in there as they are put in. I figured this could get confusing considering we were going to have six people adding assignments to this one class.  The Google expert, Alice Keeler, wrote a post about adding topics to Google Classroom. I learned that “topics” is a way that we can organize our content into units. I called my topic, “Digital Citizenship and Works Cited” as that is what my Genius Hour module is going to be on.screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-10-27-00-pm

I encouraged the rest of my group to create their own topic when they create an assignment as well. That way students can use the filter option later to navigate through the different assignments for each unit.  I will organize my own assignments with the Dig Cit/Works Cited topic/unit and then call them Assignment 1, 2, 3 etc. with a description of what they will be doing.

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-11-15-26-pm

Digizen.org

For my first assignment, I have decided to have the students complete an interactive digital citizenship game made by Digizen, write a reflective blog post, and fill out a Google Form that shares their digital citizenship score with the rest of the class. I figured this would be an interesting way to engage my students in the topic and get them thinking.

Some of my other EC&I834 classmates have also chosen to use Google Classroom for their LMS, and Jayme reminded me that one of the best features of Google Classroom is that students will have everything they need in one place. They won’t need to worry about losing assignments or misplacing certain instructions. I came across this powerful blog post a couple months back written by Pernille Ripp. It talks about how we as teachers need to try and remove barriers for learning rather than add them. This resonates with me while thinking about Google Classroom. Why would we get mad at students for losing assignments when we can help them by creating a place for them where this very thing is impossible? Google Classroom will be a great tool that will help students in this way, among others. I’m excited to dive into it further.

While testing it out this week, these are my Google Classroom pros and cons

PROS

  • Easy to navigate
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Simple ways to attach URLs, documents, Youtube videos, and any other Google Drive options to assignments

CONS

  • Had to add create new Google contacts to add other teachers as collaborators
  • There was no way to add a specific folder for a unit, so I had to use the “topics” tag
  • Once I have used the “topics” tag to specify units, I won’t be able to use it to specify other subjects.  I will have to create a new class for each new subject I would want. Ex: Science, ELA, Math etc.

Does anyone know a way around this issue? If so, please share in the comments!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...