Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Journey - Day 4 -> Day 10

4/21/2014 Thirteen more plays were submitted today!

Students Rehearse

Students performed a reader's theater practice with short plays during their language arts class.  Guidance and feedback were given by the language arts teacher.  Other students were at their desks finishing writing their short plays using the Google documents that had been created by the teacher.  Students who had been absent were able to get assistance from their peers during this time which freed up the teacher to rehearse with small groups.  (That's what I call a "Win-Win" for everybody.)

The last comment I heard today from the language arts teacher was that she could just stay home with her new puppy and collaborate on Google Apps from there.

Students Began to Submit Their Original Plays via a Google Form

Responses to Google forms gather in a spreadsheet. Here’s how to see them and know when forms are submitted.  Open the Form Responses in your DRIVE to view completed forms.  If you want to know when forms are submitted:
Open the Form Responses in your DRIVE and choose Tools > Notification Rules:

Choose notification rules & set to notify you daily when a user submits a form. SAVE & DONE

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Journey - Day 3

This Blog is Transforming Collaboration

Today, a third grade teacher asked about this blog and using it with third grade students who are working on play production too. The documents created for the 5th grade class were then shared with her so she could edit them and provide "copies" for her 3rd graders.  Blogging about this project has provided a time and place for processing and improving our teaching units at HHES.  This blog has changed to meet our teacher's needs.


Real Time Synchronous Collaboration, Feedback, and Revision

This is what real time student writing looks like now in our 5th grade classroom:

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Journey - Day 2

Google Apps Used to Share and Collaborate

Documents were created to share with students through a google site on a Play Development page.

Students Accessed Google Assignments

Students made copies of the "Short Play Plot Outline" and completed and shared notes with their teachers in one 45 minute session.  All of the students in the class were able to edit the document although there were some connectivity issues.  Students were patient and worked through the problems.  One student suggested that the background picture should be deleted to see if the drawing would work more smoothly.  There was a palpable excitement in the room once students fully realized that their assignments could be edited even after they had shared them and that they could be worked on after leaving the computer lab. Below is a sample of a student's first draft of the short play outline.


Students opening a Google Drawing and Making Copies

Students Were Excited

Students were excited to share their work and were looking forward to collaborating with their teachers and each other.  The general classroom atmosphere was also exciting as students discussed with the classroom/homeroom teacher how they would complete their outlines and share their ideas.  

Students gained valuable work time using Google Apps. One of my missions has been to cut down on paper printing in the building, especially when students are still in the revision stage of assignments.  Students saved paper and time.  The process of writing and then sharing was instantaneous! The next step will be synchronous editing with the classroom teacher who is also anticipating the power of real time feedback and revision. At one point in time I experienced the same excitement as my students (and Catlin Tucker) as a student's cursor jumped to a spot where I had just left a comment!

The Journey - Day 1

Begin With the Basics

My colleague knew little about using Google Apps, so we started with the basics.   Here is a short introductory video from youtube about using Google:

Google Apps for Education

All tools included in Google Apps for Education can be accessed through your school gmail.
  1. Look for the grid next to your email address in the top right hand corner.  
  2. Click on the grid and the Apps will pop up. Click on the Drive icon.
  3. When you click on the drive, a new window or tab will open. You will then be able to choose which Drive App you want to use.  You can create folders and all types of documents. I suggest you start by creating file folders for the classes or assignments you teach.
4. Practice making folders, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings. (Google Drive Help)

Sunday, April 6, 2014



Hermon Hutchens Elementary School is a K-5 school in Valdez, Alaska.  I am the technology teacher for all students kindergarten through fifth grade.  Students attend computer lab classes as a forty-five minute pullout twice a week.  Our community is made up of locals including some native population, families of professionals who have transferred to Valdez, and Coast Guard families.  I plan to mentor a 5th grade teacher through the process of using Google Apps with her students.


Our 5th grade students have been using gaggle email and gaggle Zoho docs.  We found that there were issues for students being able to use the gaggle docs and save them without losing part or all of their work. For this reason, our district curriculum director facilitated getting Google docs tied to student gaggle emails. This creates a two step process for students to utilized Google Drive.  We plan to use Google Apps with students to scaffold the process of play writing.  We attended a Google Summit to become more proficient with Google Apps.

Day 1 - Intense Google Apps Training
Day 2 - Creating Tools to Use for Playwriting with 5th Graders