Thursday, December 4, 2014

Google Classroom

With the creation of a formal virtual school handbook, it's salient to discuss other tools that can help us manage a virtual classroom. One such tool is Google Classroom, which allows you to create an online course for your students:

As you can see, there's some functionality overlap with Focus/Moodle. Google's product team told me that they're not out to replace other systems, and that each has their niche. Think of Focus/Moodle as the better option to hold your static content and resources, and Google Classroom as a place to dynamically interact with and give feedback to your students through Google Drive:

To summarize, Google Classroom can help you:
  • Post announcements and assignments
  • Integrates with Google Drive easily
  • Stream facilitates sharing
You'd use it because:
  • Most of your assignments can be done in G Drive, or can be uploaded as a PDF or JPG
  • You want students to be able to contribute
  • You find Focus/Moodle too complicated

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Virtual School Handbook (and using Google Drive to see revision history)

We listened.

Based on some great feedback from our virtual school meeting the other week, we have updated the Google doc containing our plan (see the published version on the web here).

If you open the Google doc (link here), you can see the updated document.

This is also a great example of how you can use Google Docs to give feedback and see the revision process. By going to File > See revision history

 you'll see a list on the left of all recent changes made.

Changed text will be colored, rather than black:

Use this method to review the Virtual School Plan and see what's been updated, or with your students to see how their writing evolves (or who contributes in a shared document, and who doesn't). This is also a useful way to hold students accountable for unproductive participation.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Update on Reserving Resources

With the upcoming winter show, many of us will want to reserve the MPR. The MPR is reserved just like the computer labs and laptop carts (and headphones, now, too).

For instructions on how to reserve the MPR, see these instructions from Google.

If you'd like to just see what reservations are already there, see these instructions from Google on how to add the MPR on your Google Calendar, or just view the schedule in a separate window here.

If you're champing at the bit, you can see the calendar below: