Why I’m Passionate about Using Tech…

Ability

Technology devices can be seen everywhere these days. People of all ages are using digital devices for both learning and entertainment. What I like most about using technology supports is the magic it may unfold for those with both learning and physical disabilities.  Many moons ago it was this very reason I fell in love with using technology. I had this dream of unlocking doors for students who were challenged by fitting into inclusion classrooms.  When looking at a whole classroom community one should not be able to distinguish the challenged student from their peers. This is where technology may be used to assist with supporting student’s independents during certain classroom activities.

Present day schools have a tendency to integrate 1to1 devices. This doesn’t necessarily mean one device per student all day to take home at the end of the day. However what it does is provides the opportunity to use a digital device throughout the day during certain activities. Thanks to this students with disabilities are able to interact with classmates without an adult hovering at their side. Independents maybe one of the best esteem builders for some challenged students.  Due to my position as a teaching assistant one of the most common statements students have made over the years is, “I can do this by myself.” Students often state this because they feel uncomfortable and zeroed out by their peers for having an adult assist them all the time.

Digital devices may unlock a student’s freedom by reading or writing for them. There are applications such as Google Calendar, and Keep which may be used to support student organization. These tools may also be used as a way to quietly communicate with a student. This is due to the sharing ability of calendars and Keep Notes. It allows an adult to indiscreetly edit the information a student types in. These tools also allow teachers and support staff to provide interactive links, videos, visuals, audios and etc… to help the students with learning the information presented in the classroom. I view using technology as a tool to bolstering a students esteem by helping them to independently interact within a classroom community. What better tool to use then one which empowers students to independently participate within a classroom community.

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Draftback Extension is Magical…

During a Google APPS workshop I tend to point out the “Revision History” Tool. Often stating how it allows the teacher to view a students work in ways they never imagined possible. Revision history permits the educator to see every step a student takes to complete a writing masterpiece. It is the closet an educator may come to understanding a student’s thought process. What makes this even easier to do is the Draftback Chrome Extension by J. Somers.

The Draftback Chrome Extension attaches to a Google Doc.  It allows the user to create a animation of the authors writing process. Like magic draftback displays every edit created up to the very last Google Doc sentence. This lets an educator view the writing process in ways they were never able to before. It allows the teacher to provide authentic proactive feedback to assist the student author with improving upon writing skills.

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Appointment Slots Practical Teacher Tool

The due to my support in the Google Help Forum I’ve learned quite a bit about fellow educator’s needs. Recently an educator asked, “Can I keep Appointment Slots Confidential”. The concern was if they share Google Calendar Appointment Slots publicly will other parents see when a parent signs up for a meeting. The teacher became excited about using appointment slots after learning the appointments remain private between the appointment setter and teacher.

Once a parent chooses an appointment slot and fills in their details the slot disappears from the public calendar. The appointment is then scheduled on the parents personal Google Calendar as an event. Bonus is the teacher can view who registered for which appointment slot on the appointment slot calendar. One more timesaving tool provided by Google for Educators to use.

How to Create an Appointment Slot Calendar

TIP: I find it beneficial and easier to maintain by creating a new calendar for sharing the Appointment Slots.

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. Select Week view or any Day view.
  3. Click to open the event box
    1. Select Appointment slots.
  4. Enter the details
  5. You can have appointment Slots repeat  by creating recurring events

If you would like to learn more about Google Calendar appointment slots please read the following Google Calendar Help Center Article: Use Google Calendar Appointment Slots

Please NOTE: Appointment slots are a feature offered in both GSuite Education and Work Accounts.

 

Best Practices for Sending a Google Form

Due to my role as a Google Help Forum Top Contributor  I’ve learned sending a Google Form isn’t simple for everyone. If a Google Form isn’t shared properly it could cause a lot of chaos. Nobody wants to send a Google Form only to discover no data was collected. This is one small issue which can happen if “Best Practices” aren’t followed when sharing a Google Form Link with respondence.

HOW to SEND a GOOGLE FORM

  1. Open a Google Form
  2. Click the Send Button
  3. Pop out window opens
  4. Choose a way to send the form
    • Email
    • weblink
    • Embed code
    • Social Media

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What to do? Can’t Read Google Drive Language…

The other day while supporting in the Google Drive Help Forum  I noticed users asking how to set their Google Drive Language back to English. One user in particular said, “How can I change this back if I can’t read the language?” Thanks to screencasting animation it was easy to support the user. Having one’s Google Drive in a Foreign Language may be difficult for some users. On the other hand what about the Student Learning a Foreign Language? It might be an interesting challenge for the students to take.

Official Directions to Change Google Drive Language

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click Settings .
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Choose one of Language
    • Language: Change your preferred language for all Google products.

Google Drive settings carry over to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides home screens automatically.

Visual Directions to Change Google Drive Language

  1. Go to drive.google.com
  2. Click the Settings Gear
  3. Followed by clicking the first selection in the list
  4. A new window will pop open
  5. Click the link in the third section
  6. In the next window click the edit pencil
  7. In search type english
  8. Select English scroll down to the bottom and click the word on the left