Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Courses in Google Drive

No more paper, no more books... Dwight Schrute's worst nightmare.

Google Drive allows teachers to share an entire folder of classroom resources with every student. The folder can contain links to videos, lecture notes and assessments all from the teacher's shared folder. Students like it because they can access their classroom notes and resources from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Teachers like it because they are allowed to build digital resources and store them in one convient place. It is a better fit than iTunes U or other course software because it is device neutral, meaning that students can create and access their materials from any connection to the Internet (iOS, Android, PC and Mac).

At my school we have been building towards teachers using our school's Google Apps domain to connect students and teachers. Our pilot program is now underway to create a whole course of 8th grade mathematics taken mostly on an electronic device (much like the Next Generation Assessments for the Common Core). We have placed a cart of computers into the classroom and the teacher Mr. Biggers has created the course materials. Students will use the computers everyday to access the course materials and turn in assignments. This is a new project with a technology challenged, but highly motivated, teacher. We have started small and will add difficulty and complexity when the students get used to the format.

To see this in action watch the video of the first time Mr. Biggers explains this to his 4th period class. The video is a little long but it really hits home of what is possible with creating courses in Google Apps. Access the video: click here.

For additional resources for Google Apps click here to access the companion resources including lesson plans for each grade band using Google Apps. This is the extra piece to my upcoming book Google Apps Meets Common Core

To get started creating a folder in Google Drive follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google Drive and Click the red create button
  2. Choose Folder and name it accordingly 
  3. Click the drop down arrow to share the folder after it has been created

Michael J Graham is the instructional technologist at Harrisburg Middle School in Harrisburg Arkansas and Author of the book Google Apps Meets Common Core due out in April 2013. Follow on twitter @mjgraham0