Month: December 2013

8 ways to use Google in the classroom.

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  1. Create a Google Doc and share it out to pupils. They can update the document in real time which is even more powerful when shared on the IWB. Students can work in triads, each with their own role.
  2. Keep track of pupil’s work by having them share the link with you, it’ll appear on your Google Drive under shared documents and can be used to monitor progress with classwork, projects, coursework and home learning.
  3. Give vocal feedback on shared documents using Kaizena. Students can record an answer to your feedback, creating a continuous dialogue. Too noisey? Kaizena supports text feedback too.
  4. Creating self-marking assessments on Google Forms using the formulas in this link or with Flubaroo.
  5. Share documents with colleagues and collaborate on lesson planning.
  6. Create differentiated flash cards using the flash cards gadget.
  7. Create a classroom website that students update to show what they have learnt for each lesson using Google Sites, much like a student portfolio of work which shows progress over time. Blogger could also be used (another Google App).
  8. Use Google Moderator to hold classroom discussions in the classroom on the day’s learning or as home learning.

Comic Life: interactive comic strips.

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Comic life is an iPad App on which you can create comic strips. It contains a number of pre-set layouts that are easily adapted to suit any class.

Students can use the resource to play out role plays between two fictional characters to show understanding of key events in History, to show writing skills in languages or even for speaking activities in English.

However, PE students in Shaun Wills’ class (a FHS colleague of mine) have been innovative in that they have used Comic Life as a resource with which they and other students can interact, greatly enhancing their teaching and learning. The resource can be altered to contain not just images and text but rather QR codes and Aurasma images so that videos and other forms of multimedia can be added to them and accessed by a variety of other Apps on the iPads. This means students can create engaging resources for others which moves them to the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy as well as potentially cutting down on planning time.

Below is an example that I have put together for a KS3 Spanish lesson that teaches the Immediate Future tense. Pupils can use ipads to scan the QR code that links them to a ShowMe video that explains how the tense is formed (which means they can work at their own pace as they can paused and rewind as necessary). There is also a developmental activity, a help section and an extension activity.


Teamwork and Reviews using iPads and Google Docs.

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Review student understanding in real time with a Google Docs. Using the iPads, share a Google Doc with students and by changing the document’s settings, pupils can edit the document in real time. This can be shared on the interactive whiteboard which gives instant feedback. This can be done by clicking a shared link which will take them to a document that each pupil can edit (make sure that the document settings are set so that anyone can edit them). The link could then be attached to a QR code, which pupils can scan, which saves time instead of having to input the link manually (bear in mind pupils will have to log into the Google Docs, but this takes seconds).


Pupils can edit the doc on their iPads by themselves, in pairs or in teams to answer set questions already on the document as part of a review activity or to write their answers under a team name (as seen below, I simply wrote a list of names ‘Team A, Team B, Team C etc…). This becomes even more powerful if students work in triads, each with a specific role (i.e. Creating, developing and checking work).

Furthermore, a colleague in the PE department has used Google Docs as a way of tracking progress of assignments (i.e. coursework, classwork, homework and other projects). Pupils just need to share the document with you through their Google Drive and their document will appear in the shared documents section of your drive, which will update in real time. This means you can keep an eye on how students are doing as well as editing the document yourself to provide feedback (perhaps best, in another colour).