Thursday, April 27, 2017

Creative Organization of Your Drive Folders with Emojis

Last week I posted Tips for Organizing and Managing Google Drive and Tip # 7 suggested using special symbols (~ # ^ *) to group and order drive folders. I've done this for years and I've been quite happy with this practice. 

"The best plans of men and mice often go awry." - Robert Burns

Yesterday I was exploring my Google + stream and I came across a post by John Sowash that flipped this well establish practice upside down. I love learning something new!

John shared the Emoji for Google Chrome Extension and showed how he uses the Emojis to organize his drive folder.

The functionality is really the same as using the special symbols, but it allows me to be a bit more creative when organizing my favorite drive files. I had quite a bit of fun experimenting with different emojis. I loved finding an emoji that I felt connected to the content in a folder. 

I've always used colors to connect folders with similar content, but now I can also use the same Emoji to group these related folders together in my Drive View.

I also love the that the Emoji sticks to the drive organization as I dig deeper into my folder structure. 

Finally, I had some fun and updated my Twitter Profile. I'm not changing the world of education with Emojis, but I am having some creative fun. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Communication with Google Classroom - Creating a Class Resource Page

Technology Is Not Pedagogy. EdTech at it's best is a resource when it is used to support and enhance sound pedagogic practices connected teaching & learning.

We live in a digital world and as educators, this is not something we should be avoiding with our students. Classrooms rich with digital resources help students connect with essential resources to support teaching and learning.

A typical high school student might need to keep track of a wide range of resources connected to 6 or more different teachers. As a result, many students struggle to keep track of all their school stuff. Students need help managing and organizing classroom resources. Google Classroom can serve as a portal for students to access resources connected to all of their classes in one digital space. 

When a student goes to Google Classroom they get a visible list of each of their teachers on the Welcome Screen. 

Connecting Students to Resources Using the About Section of Google Classroom

This post is primarily focused on the "ABOUT" tab in Google Classroom. You can learn more about the classroom stream and connecting students to Google Classroom on the Classroom Essentials Page.

The "ABOUT" section of Google Classroom can be used to connect students to essential resources for each class. 

Add class materials (Teacher View)

Teachers can add frequently used digital resources to the about section of Google Classroom. This section supports attachments, Drive files, YouTube Videos, and links. I've linked my AP Environmental Website, our Google + Community, and my AP Environmental Resource Google Drive Folder to the ABOUT section. If you need help getting started with creating a class resource page in the ABOUT section, click here

Google Drive Folder (Teacher View)

The ABOUT section also links directly to the teacher's Google Classroom Folder. This section will populate with student work distributed and collected in the Classroom STREAM.  If a teacher is not using Google Classroom to distribute and collect digital assignments, this folder will be empty. Students only have access to their assignments connected this folder.

If you want to share files with students outside I recommend that you create a View-able Drive Folder and add a link to the folder in the ABOUT section of Google Classroom.
Google Drive Folder (Student View)

 Calendar "View in Classroom"

This Calendar displays "Due Dates" Of assignments posted in the Google Classroom Stream. Students can view individual classes or all classes in this calendar. Currently, only assignments post in this calendar.

Calendar "Open in Google Calendar"

When a Google Classroom Class is created a Google Calendar is automatically created for the class. The Classroom teacher has edit access to this folder and every student has view access. This Google Calendar will automatically post.  The calendar can also be made public and shared with parents. 

Google Classroom creates a calendar for each "Section" a teacher creates in Classroom. If you prefer to use one calendar for all of your classes or sections, create a calendar and add the link to the ABOUT section. 

If you need any additional help working with Google Classroom, I recommend exploring the G Suite Training Extension by clicking on the help icon. This connects you to an interactive and searchable collection of video tutorials. 

Extend Your Learning with this resource document for teachers: