Google Docs workshop

Today I ran a Google Docs workshop for our teachers. It was voluntary, which I had hoped meant participants were keen and willing to ‘grab their learning’ (quote thanks to Brette Lockyer). The second session will take place on 11 November, where the plan was for teachers will share how they’ve been using Google Docs in their classroom.

For today’s session, I was aiming for teachers to be able to differentiate their own learning, however we were somewhat hamstrung by people without computers, people who’d not already registered for a Google account or those who couldn’t remember their password.

I was too ambitious hoping for lots of sharing and discussions about how we could use Google Docs for Redefinition, when the actual need was to learn how to name a Google Form, how to add questions and how to send a form.

Hopefully some teachers may do some learning on their own before the next session as I had provided a number of how-to resources. I’ll need to reevaluate what to do with the next session or if we need a third session.

All of the resources I used are on a page in my professional learning wiki.

Huge thanks to John Pearce, Britt GowJenny LucaHeather Dowd and many others for sharing their work, ideas and links.

Screencasting and scribing with students

Since I’ve been at my current school, one of my tasks is running professional learning sessions for teachers. I set up a wiki to keep a record of pretty much everything I’d done in this area for teachers to refer to if and when they needed/wanted to.

One of the things I used to help staff learn were screencasts, some made by me, some sourced from YouTube. I made quite a few last year and a few more this year. As the school decided to use OneNote across the college for staff, I created screencasts for how-tos. They’d made a bit of an impact as, upon receiving notification of said screencasts, one of the APs came straight over to tell me what a great way to learn the screencasts were.

Of course, Alan November often speaks about the power of students using screencasting for both learning and teaching.

So it was with great pleasure that one of the teachers approached me today to help her students learn to screencast. The plan is for one student a week to screencast that session’s learning and for one student to record the session’s learning via Google Docs. Great for revision, students who are absent and students who need extra time to learn.

I decided to show Screenr as there was no need to download anything (as there is with Jing) and it was terrific to see the students all creating practice screencasts almost immediately. I’ll report back down the track when we see the impact this type of learning and teaching has had on the students.