There are lots of different ways to use Google Drive apps in the classroom. Google Slides offers many possibilities. One way of using Google Slides in the classroom is developing digital student workbooks that include different types of activities. You can take a static, paper based, black and white worksheet or workbook and make it interactive and colourful, incorporating different ways of engaging with information and demonstrating understanding.
Items you can include in your digital workbook include:
words and images (I know, obvious)
multimedia including YouTube videos
links to other resources
short answer activities
drag and drop activities
extended response activities
links to a quiz in Google Forms
links to a Google Classroom
The ability to create drag and drop activities is particularly appealing. Below is a short video tutorial showing you how to create drag and drop activities in your workbook that prevent student from accidentally moving the wrong elements on the page. This is done by using the “Slide > Background image” feature of Google Slides.
Advantages of digital workbooks with Google Slides
Easy to distribute via your preferred method. For example, email, Google Drive sharing, Google Classroom.
Does not require G Suite for Education (just Google Drive).
Can differentiate by developing different versions for students aiming to achieve at different levels.
Ability to incorporate different learning activities.
Free sample digital workbook
Below is a link to the sample workbook shown in the video. Feel free to make a copy for yourself and use it as you like:
I recently had the opportunity to attend an excellent workshop presented by Leanne Woodley from AIS NSW on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL has inspired me to look at inclusion in a different way. It is a step beyond differentiation as it may be typically implemented which I discussed in the context of Google Classroom in a previous post. Within the UDL framework learning is designed to be inclusive rather than making adjustments as an after thought.
According to National Centre on Universal Design for Learning:
Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
Here is a short video giving an overview of UDL:
So where does Google Apps for Education fit in to all this? UDL does not require technology to be implemented. However, technology can be a very powerful tool. It embeds digital literacy into learning which is a relevant 21st century skill, with relevance being part of the UDL guidelines. For some students, it also allows them to use skills and technologies they are already comfortable with. Building on existing student knowledge is also within the UDL guidelines.
I am looking forward to implementing UDL within my classes. In the meantime, I have put together a table of three GAfE tools and how they may work to support UDL. I plan to add to this as my experience with UDL grows.
Google Forms is an incredibly versatile and powerful tool. Google Forms has made it simple (not to mention free!) for anyone to create a simple, online form. These days, surveys created in Google Forms are almost ubiquitous, used by individuals and big companies alike.
Over time, Google Forms have improved and evolved. Now you can add videos and images. You can even set-up a form to go to particular sections based on responses provided. And that’s where the branched elearning scenarios come in to it.
A branched scenario throws up a challenge to the student and gives the student choices. This leads to consequences based on the choices made. These ‘3cs of scenario building’ are outlined in the below illustration and explained in the video at the end. Google Forms lets you build these scenarios by moving users through the form based on their responses rather than in a straight line.
Is Google Forms the most elegant and sophisticated of the elearning scenario building tools? Well, no, but it’s easy to use and quick to learn and the price for Google Apps for Education users is perfect (free!)
Tips and tricks
Mathematical concepts can be hard to express properly in Google Forms (as per my example in the video). In hindsight, I should have created the 3 different options in a drawing and cross referenced them in the question.
Plan out out scenario and organise all your media (images, video, text, etc) before putting it to together in Google Forms. It will make the process quicker and more efficient.
Make sure you test your form before you unleash it (even get a friend to test it for you). You want to make sure your branching works or you could create confusion.
Responses will be saved to a Google Spreadsheet. In a GAFE domain, students can login and you can check using the responses spreadsheet how they went, how long it took, etc.
Applications for education
Branched scenarios are great for checking students’ skills and knowledge. You can provide instant feedback, as well as instant support if there is a skills or knowledge gap.
To find out more and see step-by-step how to set up a branched scenario in Google Forms, watch the video below.