Tuesday, June 30, 2020

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Links on Google Docs

Hyperlinks have been around since the dawn of the Internet; however, are you getting the most out of your Hyperlinks and Google Docs? Here are three ideas on getting the most out of a powerful connection tool.

Check out my video or text below:





Idea # 1 - Do a Search 

Did you know that you can do a search for a website, document, or bookmark in Google Docs? When you are adding a link, Google will suggest results or you can do a simple good search from the Insert Link window.



Idea # 2 - Use Headings and Bookmarks

Need a way to link to specific locations in your document? There are several different options.

Headings are not only a great way to organize content in your document, but also a great way to navigate through your document. If you change your text to the heading format, you can navigate using the document outline pane or you can directly link to headings using the Insert Link function.



Bookmarks are another helpful feature for linking to specific locations in your document. Check out my video for more!


Idea # 3 - Preview a Google Slide Presentation

With the emphasis on remote learning, this could be a helpful way of sharing an agenda and sharing a picture-in-picture preview of a Google Slide presentation. This is only currently available for the owner of the document but provides you with the ability to work with multiple items on the same screen at once.














Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Lovin' Loom: Creating Engaging Screencasts for Students

Not all screencasting tools are created the same! In fact, you might want to consider using tools that provide you with the option of showing your face. A study by Guo in 2014 found that students who saw the face of their teacher were much more engaged in screencasts than those who didn't. The study also found that after 6 minutes of video, students started to lose interest.


Loom is a free tool that provides you with several important features to keep students engaged:
  • The presenter can present information from their screen and webcam at the same time. 
  • Loom allows the presenter to adjust the size and location of their webcam video.
  • Videos are automatically published to Loom and can be shared via a link.
  • Students can leave their reactions via thumbs up/down or emojis throughout the video. This interaction is great! Especially if you ask for student feedback, such as "give me a thumbs up / down to tell me if this content makes sense."
Although Loom is an asynchronous tool (meaning it's recorded and not live), it can still provide you with the right type of information to help students understand and engage with content. Want to learn how to use it? Check out my video tutorial below:


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

3 Ways to Make Google Classroom Accessible to All Students

Remote learning can be challenging for all students; however, there are specific proactive steps we can take to help students become successful in an online environment. Check out my video below for how!

 


  Idea # 1 - Create a Dedicated Place to Ask Questions

I love having a dedicated place in any online class I teach, where students can ask a question and receive an answer. This public forum allows students to see questions and answers that their classmates have requested and received. Share links, videos, and responses to solve problems. Plus, it is a great way to have other students contribute to the class environment by answering their classmate's questions.

Idea # 2 - Stay Organized

Keep organized by using the topics feature to organize assignments by the due date. It may also be helpful to number your assignments for easy identification. For example, if a student is missing an assignment, it may be beneficial to refer to it as 001 Revolutionary War Essay versus Revolutionary War Analysis Essay. Organizing assignments by number also has an additional benefit! It helps keep the folders that are automatically created for each assignment in Google Drive organized.

Idea # 3 - Tips to Make Assignments Accessible

There are several different tips for making assignments accessible for students:

  • Students may need visual cues to complete assignments. If you have several steps required to complete a task, you might want to consider adding emojis! This may sound very simplistic; however, it can have a significant impact on students completing assignments correctly. Joypixels is a great Chrome Extension to check out!

  • Create instructions that include Frequently Asked Questions. If you know that students traditionally struggle with certain things in your assignment, why not prepare for it? 
  • Provide students with steps they can take if they get confused! 
  • Consider adding examples of student work and rubrics. This will help students understand exactly what you are looking for. 
  • Consider adding screencasts or videos with helpful hints, reminders, and even a way to review content that they may have forgotten.