Sunday, May 18, 2014

Do-It-Yourself-School: Google Learning

This is an example of a fourth grade Google doc
home study share.
I spent some time playing around and exploring all the new tools Google has to offer this weekend, and I realized, more than ever before, that Google makes a "Do-It-Yourself-School" possible in so many ways.

As I played with scripts, I realized how this new age of tools is changing our brains so that we think about everything with mathematics as we manipulate the relationships between actions and content to best meet the needs of our learners.  I am a "baby" in the script world, but I'm excited to learn as not only will I learn scripts, but I'll gain more understanding about the process of learning.

The challenge is to discover where to start and how to travel as Google has created their own virtual landscape of learning--a powerful universe of knowledge and potential we will all profit from.


Home Base: Resource Center(s)
Create a home base or home bases that do the following:
  • Resource site with links and key information: class website(s). Link all sites to one another.
  • Study site: a place to document current work, links, goals, work flow. . .
Interaction Space(s)
Create spaces where the learning community can share and communicate.
  • Google doc: for children under 13 at Google schools that can be a shared Google doc w/add-ons for share.
  • Google+: Create a Google+ community for parent share and communication or for children older than 13.
  • Twitter: Create a # for your community or a Twitter account to conduct chats and distribute "sound bite" information and links.
Think Spaces
A blog can serve as a think space--a space to share underlying principles, questions, and philosophy. The blog can also link to journals, other blogs, and related resource sites.

Collaboration, Research and Creation Spaces
These spaces are the rooms for creativity and share--building knowledge spaces.  
  • Wevideo: collaborative film
  • Google docs, sites, pages: collaborative writing, share, creation.
  • Google Draw and Research Tools are amazing spaces for content creation and broader learning. 
  • Google Forms for surveys, reflection, and more. 
Survey Spaces
A space to collect, analyze, and share data.
  • Google Forms
  • Add analytics to any site to study and analyze data to inform decisions. Great learning for students' data and statistics understanding.
News and Showcase Spaces
Share the classroom news regularly through an update space that tells what has happened, what is happening, and what is planned to happen.  That presents an overview of the learning program.
  • Use a Google site to host all newsletters.  In the end that serves as a school story for the year.
  • Use a blog to host news. This is particularly great for grade three and under. 
  • Use a blog to showcase and share students' best work and efforts with the learning community near and far. 
  • Twitter and Google+ Communities can also serve as great news sites. 
  • Students' own websites and blogs are the best way to share the learning news. 
Personalize the Learning Environment
Adding apps and scripts can personalize the work so that all that doesn't require people time can run on it's own time--the scripts are almost only limited by your understanding of how to use them (my newest learning curve) and your imagination.

How will you use Google to create your own "Do-It-Yourself-School" for your learners--a school that will foster independent and collaborative life-long learning.