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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Want Your Students to Enjoy Writing? Bring GOOGLE Into the Classroom:)

With tablets, iPads, smart phones, and cursive writing fast becoming a thing of the past, teachers should have students use different writing tools for essays, projects, newsletters, research projects, etc.  When the handwriting issue is removed, the creativity levels rise:)

The first step here is to have them generate email accounts to access many of the incredible features of Google.   Since many students struggle with writing, teachers need to find more creative ways to bring it into the classroom.  Blogging, websites, Google Drive, Picasa, Google Earth, Panoramic, Google maps, etc. are just a few of the tools available here for free.  A gmail account takes only a few minutes to generate and is the access key to many of the other features that Google offers--gmail account


After students have created gmail accounts, teachers can keep both students and parents informed on assignments, tests, etc.  Further, teachers can generate class "websites" (actually blogs but often times referred to as websites) where class lectures, powerpoints, videos, assignments, test schedules, project due dates, etc. can be maintained.  Such support is vital with students who need more time to process information.  English language learners and those with special needs would benefit from having access to such materials on a 24 hour basis.  Imagine how much more secure they would feel knowing that if they could not follow the power point in class, they could access the material in a tutoring center or with a classmate after school who was more proficient in English or academic reading skills. Teachers can also add GOOGLE TRANSLATE as a language support for students on the blog/website.  It is free and quite accurate.  It is added to the blog/website as a widget --

For class projects, teachers can have students create documents which teams of students create and edit using GOOGLE DOCS.  Finished products can be uploaded to group blogs so no paperwork is lost.  Parents will be impressed with them especially for back to school night.  Teachers would also be able to provide feedback to students on their assignments more quickly since they would not have to labor over poor handwriting and spelling.

If students are anxious to create actual websites to demonstrate mastery of content, GOOGLE has that feature also.  The directions are fairly simple, but for those who need assistance, the teacher could easily step in (or the more tech savvy students can provide assistance). 
Another powerful tool is GOOGLE DRIVE.  Students can save work in the cloud.  No longer will teachers hear that the homework was "lost."  In this tech age, teachers must integrate technology at every turn.  Students are not only open to it, but often times more proficient in than many of their teachers:)

Google Blogspot is easy to use.  Teachers should demonstrate how to create a blog by developing a class one for students by students.  This is a wonderful way to engage everyone.  As they proceed through the process by way of trial and error, they are developing the skills to do their own blog down the road. 
As the year winds down, this might be a fun way to end the year on a great project.  As per common core based lessons, provide the lesson and then let them explore ways to demonstrate mastery using technology.


All of Google's rich features are here GOOGLE choices .

Denise

ELL TEACHER PROS

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