Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Implementing Google Drive with Y12 Class

Wow. It worked.

There was a moment halfway through the lesson where I just had a WOW moment. That it was working. That 98% of the kids were engaged and that the other 2% were still engaged in the actual work but for some reason or another - have a problem with engaging online collaboratively. One had a hotmail account and didn't want to create a Gmail account. That's fine I suppose except she will have issues accessing the info on Google Drive. While the other is still resisting - but have yet to have a discussion with him about why. And that's okay too. Three of the students who initially either didn't have an email or didn't want to do what we were doing via Drive... quickly set up an account and gave me their addresses so I could add them to the group.

The majority of the class left having not only learnt how to use Google Drive - but felt like it was "the new Facebook" and that it was fun. Why? Because it's a new way of learning, collaborating and developing their ideas.

Am currently in the process of creating a Google Form for this class to assess their first time using it.


We're currently doing the note-taking and analysis for the Close Viewing assessment at the moment (AS...) and they're watching their individual driving ads. Most students are working in pairs looking at a single video. Most students are working collaboratively already, discussing their shared video, collecting information together. I've taken this approach because it's working well with my Y13's at the moment - the collaboration and information gathering. Perhaps I'll also have these students do their presentation on the driving ad in pairs as well - seems like a simple collaboration and segway into the next assessment - as most are already working in this way.

The Lesson

Collected laptops (COW's) from the trolley and distributed to students. 

Discussed with them about the lesson observation yesterday and thanked them for their awesomeness as always - and how they and I work together - just that synergy and the collaboration is absolutely awesome and somehow works despite the often crazy aspect of class... 

More on that observation later from BOS. Can't discuss feedback properly until next term. Hopefully I get my observation info back as well. :) 

Students got back into their docs and videos via Youtube or NZTA and re-analysed. 

They were all quietly working for ages when I thought it was probably about time that I introduced them to Google Drive and Google Docs - mainly because two students sitting at the table I was at were discussing the fact that one was going to log in to the others' email account so that another could write the notes and that they could watch the video on the other and then swap again to work on the same document. 

Simplify the situation: girls agreed - as I was showing them - I had the rest of the class get into their gmail accounts so that I could email them the link for the Y12 folder I've created for them to access at home and at school. 

Once I'd sent out the email to those who had originally given me their addresses - they had to click the link and then add the folder to their Drive. Then they needed to open their Drive and then they could see the same screen as I had displayed on the projector. 

At this point I showed them how to create their own folders within the Y12 folder on Drive. Some needed help at this stage so quickly went to each to help and get them started. 

I then got an influx of a few more students who told me they now had an address too.. and so had to send these new students the same email as before and continued that process... perhaps now not wanting to miss out on this sharing of resources. Of course I'll be allowing students to email and bring in their usb's to get resources if that's easier - or even by paper if necessary... because the one/two students who are having issues at the moment need to be included in this collaborative process too.

Once everyone had created their folders they created their Google Docs in that folder for their notes on the ad - shared them with me if they wanted to - and shared them with their mate who was doing the same ad as them so that the could collaborate and develop their notes on the same document. 

While this is still fresh in my memory  - with using Google apps collaboratively myself - I too had to remember each step while telling them. Eventually I'll create a quick instruction sheet so that this process can be slightly simplified. Perhaps emailing them a link to an instruction Document and then getting them to go through the process.

By this stage the class were all back onto their ad watching and creating notes - one of my more precocious students chose to share his notes with me - all finished apparently - so I copied the first sentence at the bottom of his so-called report - and put it into Google to search. It came up with the NZTA link and the words I'd copied were bolded from the document he'd plagiarised. A teachable moment about plagiarising information and making sure to reference information to use for notes RATHER than outright pretending it's yours.... I should also note that this student did it as a joke and so in essence - yet again provided the source for learning for the rest of the class. 

By this stage of the lesson I was checking over people's folders that had been created. I absolutely love that now that I've shared the doc there is a side stream of activity that is being had on the side of the drive page. Awesome. Easy to check on issues and that students are doing their work at home. 

Also began the form - which I'd planned on having ready for them to do before the bell rang... but took too long - need to find a quicker way to do it. Though while we packed up the laptops - I asked students to check their emails to survey the lesson for me. Quite a few students remarked on how good the lesson was and how much they learnt - gaining comments that it was awesome, fun and useful and how much it was like Facebook... still trying to figure out what they meant by that... perhaps they've found Google+ already - which would be the next step for me too except that at the moment our school can't access Google+ - I think it has something to do with admin settings. Have asked but haven't got a reply yet - we're all busy!  :)

And that was the lesson! :)


Sent an email to our DP in charge of IT about Google Classroom launching in September. And sent through the links - Might send this post link as well.

Have taken a bit of a precocious approach myself - partly because I'm seeing different things - getting emails and if I can help - I will :) Don't know whether my emails are useful and hope they're not seen as anything other than trying to assist. 

Reflections on lesson:

WOW. It worked. Still stoked. :)

Issues arising:

Equity. At home. At school. 

Computer skills. Encountered this today. Need to take things a bit slower for some - and faster for others... differentiate the lesson for students - and use that tuakana/teina approach with my students and allow them to take over the lesson to go for it and get started and help each other. 

Willingness to use Drive. Still need to figure that out and why...

Being proactive about the networking and using google docs myself to role model (like how I've used Slides for the first time with my Twitter workshop presentation)  - making sure that any docs I create are on Docs or can be found in the folder for that class - for work at home/school...

 Making sure docs are ready and available - and keeping in mind that if we aren't a GAFE school (though I'm pretty sure we are... because teachers use gmail for their email - and the little school logo is at the top - and as teachers we can use google drive...) we might not be able to download Drive onto the COW's and thereby couldn't access their work if the network was down. Plus - we don't have multiple LAN cords for use or plugs in class if the wireless goes down... contingency plans needed...

Communication with Home - despite the form I sent home - I still haven't had time to contact all families about how students are going. Email is WAY easier for me. I should be doing that right now - but this is kind of more pressing and needed to reflect while it was still fresh... 

That's all I can think of for now. Stoked. 

Attempted a similar thing with my Y9's the period after but they take a lot more time to get ready because it's setting them up with Gmail accounts etc and the verification and the not listening and the playing games despite how much we've discussed becoming digital citizens... when they're meant to be on task. I had two students successfully share their Docs with me... At least 8 students email me and so now I can set up their folder and add the others later when they've verified their info. Majority of students completed their work - either on paper or on Docs or Word. 

When one of the two gave me his report card at the end of the lesson - there wasn't enough space to write how impressed I was with him. Part of this is because he was in the digital class last year and is like a duck on water with this stuff. So have asked if he can be a tuakana in the class to help the others. He's got leadership potential fit to bursting - and perhaps this is one way he can show this. 

Yay. Happy :)