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OMG!!! I believe that I have been introduced to a life-changing app in Google Forms! You, being the smarties that you are, probably already knew this! But, I will be honest–I had not explored the Google Suite of tools beyond a cursory glance at Google Classroom and the very basic of uses. I am absolutely amazed…and overwhelmed…all at once! This has the possibility to transform my project based learning classroom!
~~Let me tell you a little about how I was introduced to this and then I will let you know how I plan to implement it.~~
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
In my school district, we have had the B.Y.O.D. policy for a couple of years, and have had several professional developments that touch on the topic of technology and how we as classroom teachers can integrate it. This past year, though, we had a new technology district position created for one very motivated person and she is determined to bring tech to us in a useable and easily implementable manner. Thank Heavens!
Well, our Mrs. Motivation decided to create a small fellowship of sorts within our district and she chose one teacher per grade from grades K-8. I applied, was accepted, and got to go to my first training a couple of weeks ago. This training happened to be the Level 1 Google Certification! And I got it for FREE!
I left that two day training feeling majorly overwhelmed (at least I had been in Google Classroom and knew a little bit) and a lot excited! My head was spinning with ideas of how to make this work for my social studies classroom, and how I could make it work for my math and language arts team members.
REAL CLASSROOM USES
Now, on to how I plan to softly and gently put this to use in my project based learning classroom. (Remember, all students need independent practice to master needed skills.)
First of all, in our district, we teach digital literacy and citizenship during the first 5-8 days of school. For me, during this upcoming school year, I plan on integrating how to sign in to Google and use a few of its tools–like Drive, Classroom, and possibly the Blogger tool. Of course, it takes kids a while to get back in the swing of things, so I expect it will take a week or two of signing on for the students to get in the habit of doing it.
***Class Openers (Bell Ringers, Reviews, etc.)
Second, my plan is to use it daily for my class openers (one of my formative daily assessments)! The kids can come in, login, complete the Google Form for the day while I watch for the results, and we can discuss the answers. All automatically graded with graphs quickly showing where the weaknesses lie! How much better can it get?! The results can also be forwarded over to a gradebook!
No missing papers! Students can easily get their work done, even if they missed that day and you don’t have to go hunting for an extra copy!
Another, and easily thought of use for Google Forms, is a summative test. You can add pictures and graphs easily to multiple choice questions for a test that just can’t be replicated on paper without a lot of cutting and pasting! Again, grades can easily be exported to a grade book and you will have everything at your fingertips when it is time for parent-teacher conferences.
I have this great anticipation guide that I give to my students right before we begin learning about Christopher Columbus and other explorers. I love that the questions are very vague and the students have to really dig deep and think about how each question could be true or false, depending on the situation.
This would be wonderful if I put it in a Google Form! I would have instant results…put into an easy to read graph…and our discussion can start pretty much instantaneously! And what amazing conversation I always get from this anticipation guide. (PS. We always go back to this after we have studied Colonization, to see if anyone has changed their minds about any question–and have another amazing discussion)
TAKING IT SLOW
For now, those 3 ways to integrate Google Forms in my project based learning classroom will take me through the first half of the year. I believe the key to integrating technology is to take it slow. Once one or two things become a habit–or you have created some materials to use–then it should become easier to add more and more technology to your arsenal of classroom tricks!