Virtual Voyage – It’s All About That Google

It appears Google has taken over – in the education world that is.  I began using Google Drive a few years ago with my class of second graders.  It was the BEST thing ever and I am not sure how I survived pre-drive days!  Here are a few ways I have used these things.

Google Drive
– Mainly used as the place where the students would submit their work, in the portfolio kind of way.
– I would monitor who had turned in work when I had a sub.
– It served as the perfect Open House showcase.  The students would open their drive and it was all right there.
– I was able to share pictures back and forth with parents and students through folders.
– My student intern and I shared lesson plans (another voyage badge assignment) through Google Docs in a Google Drive folder.  We both edited and made changes.  It was nice for her to see when I made changes the night before, and for me to see when she added things as well.
– The kids used Google Drive to share their stories they had written in Docs while editing and working together.

Google Classroom-
– I set this up and tried using a few times. Since I had run Google Drive since Day 1 of school, switching to this did not make sense to my first graders so we stuck with Drive.
– Is pretty much exactly the same in the sense of sending and sharing work, turning work in.  Only difference, which I imagine works well with upper grades, is that it will quickly check and list who has turned it in with a grading capability.  That was not necessary for lower grades, so we stuck with what we knew well.

– Google Classroom vs. Google Drive = To Each Their Own!

Google Forms-
– Love these!  Have used them in different situations and will continue using these whenever possible.  Feedback is so important and what an easy way to get this.
– Beginning of school form for parents to fill out Parent/Student Info.
– Beginning of school form for parents to sign up for Conferences.
– Form for parents to list their preferences in ways to receive communication.-

Google Power Searching Class-
WOW!  I had only dipped my toe into the pool of Google Searching before watching this class series.

The most powerful thing I learned was how important it is to enter key words in your search.  By entering extra words or other things it can lead your search a whole different direction.  It amazed me to see how to really hone in on similar pictures to what you are looking for you simply click a few buttons!  I was also amazed at all the ways to refine your search by clicking things I have seen there, but never really paid much attention to!

The funny thing is, even after going through this entire class on all the million ways to refine your search, I still go back to my old ways.  I try to remember it is more effective to try one of these new power searching techniques, but old habits die hard.  🙂