Every new year brings with it a lot of new and exciting opportunities for our students. In the fall of 2015, one of those opportunities for our school included the influx of chromebooks in a few classrooms. I was blessed with these new devices after working with iPads for the last 4 years.
As I began to prepare for this first day, I was challenged by a tweet from +Alice Keeler. Her tweet challenged the following idea: ‘Who says we need to go over the syllabus the way we have for the last 50 years? Who says that we need to “talk” over everything the first day?’
With this thought provoking idea, I developed a new idea. Why not have students create something that was shared out to the world that describes the syllabus, the class, and them personally? After talking to my principal, +Chris Thompson, and a fellow teacher (My wife), +Amanda Houp, I created an assignment on Google Drawing for the first day. (Copy of assignment Link)
As students came into my class, I had them grab a chromebook and log into their School Issued Google Apps Account. Of course a few students had forgotten their passwords, but with me being the Google Apps Administrator it was easy to change their passwords. Then I directed the students to the Google Classroom site in order to enroll in my “class” (classroom.google.com). To do this, I displayed the enrollment code on the TV. Some students logged on, others struggled. To help alleviate this and get students on the same page, I had the logged in students (experts) help those struggling. This helped everyone get on the same page much sooner. Also, I created a basic example that I would turn in if I were a student which gave visual learners an idea of how to approach the assignment. (Copy of Example)
|Google Drawing Template (Copy)|
Details of Assignment
|Google+: Student Work Shared|
At this point in the class period, students began to work on the Google Drawing by “making a copy.” I would use this time period to periodically teach students different tips/tricks with the Chromebook/Google Apps Account. Overall, students gained the following skills: Location of my website (full of resources); Use Google Apps/Drive/Drawing; Find Images/Text; definition between public domain; A few details of my class syllabus; Class Direction/Content; etc.
Here are a few of the shortcuts I learned and passed on to my students:
|Created using Google Drawing
Ctrl+L= Highlight URL
Are there other ways to do this? Absolutely! But overall I was very happy with the amount of preliminary skills students developed. If you have other ideas or tips, please share for others to learn!
|Google Classroom Assignment|