The Google Calendar is an excellent addition to the Google family, and the more I use it, the more impressed I become. Especially now, when I have to organize meeting times for all parent meetings. Once I figured out how it works, it didn't take much effort before the job practically did itself, and I could spend my time preparing for the meetings instead.
Meeting appointments in Google is a service that allows you to add open appointments and set how long each appointment should last. Everyone who gets the link to the booking page can choose a time. Once the appointment is selected, it automatically shows up in the calendars of everybody who will attend the meeting. Your calendar, your colleague's calendar (if you will host it together) and the student's calendar. Easy as pie!
If you want to succeed in distance learning, there are a few things that are very important to keep in mind. First of all, it’s a mistake to think that distance learning means that the students should study alone when they feel they want to. That approach is guaranteed to end in failure.
I order to function, distance learning must rather be more controlled and structured than classroom learning and that students must never feel alone. Here is a list of the things that I have come to find are key-factors to make the learning successful.
Playing Kahoot is a popular way to do something fun for a while. There's some competition and laughter at the same time as it is educational. It is now possible to assign a Kahoot that lasts a week and where the students can play as many times as they want. This is a fun way to create some activity in the corridors or assign their homework in a different manner.
Create a "Kahoot of the week"
If you have never created a Kahoot before, it may be a good idea to first read the post "Create a Kahoot":
Click here to read it
Many teachers have their hard drive full of old Word documents that were made to be printed and given to students on paper. The usage of these documents is declining at a furious pace, but that does not mean that they have become useless! They just need to be heated up a bit, and then they can be used many more times!
I recently read about TeacherMade in a Facebook group, and since I have already tested a plethora of similar tools, my expectations were moderate, to say the least. But I was actually pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to use and as a bonus, it was free for real (no hidden costs!). The idea behind TeacherMade is simple. It simply converts your old Word documents (or pdf's) into interactive and self-correcting documents that can be shared in Google Classroom.
Once you have created your interactive document, you can click on "My worksheets". You then select "assign" in the drop-down list, and you will have the choice if you want to publish the assignment in Google Classroom or if you want to send a link to the students. When the student want to work on their assignment, they are taken directly to the worksheet and may get started on their assignment.
When I look at teacher-things on Pinterest, sometimes different templates show up that different teachers have made. They are often stylish and practical, but unfortunately, they are never free. Since I don't usually pay personally for materials that I give to my students, I use Pinterest for "window-shopping" and inspiration.
Now I have created three different templates that I use in language classes and I would like to share them. I made them in Google Docs and you can easily copy them to your own Google Drive and use them as you like. The first template is for practising irregular verbs. Just change the words that are already filled in so that the student can practice the words that you chose. The second template is a word gap and it works well in any subject where you want the student to practice words and concepts. The third template is to practice to write a letter to a friend in any language.
All templates can be filled in directly on screen so they can easily be e-mailed to students or shared in the Google Classroom. The students can practice and you correct them together in the classroom. If you think the header and footer are a little too childish, just click them and press "delete" and you will get templates that are a little more adult!
To get the templates you just click the button below to access my Google Drive folder. You can select the documents and chose "copy" to have copies of your own.
Is it okay to use emojis when commenting on student work in distance learning? Although I have not seen any scientific study on this, I am sure that the teaching profession would be divided in this matter. Personally, I think these small symbols are a great way to strengthen communication and I use them extensively. Often we give feedback to students with different tones of voice in the classroom. Sometimes with a joke and sometimes more serious.
When all the feedback is received as black, written words and there might be a lot of them to read, there is a risk that the students lose motivation. It is easier to reach out to the students and show your personal presence by marking the tone and expression with symbols. In addition, emojis are international and understood by everyone.I always use Emojipedia to find suitable images for Google Docs, I usually use: https://emojipedia.org/google to be sure it will be the same emoji in the comment as the one I had in mind. I simply select an emoji and press ctrl+c to copy and ctrl+v to paste, but you can also click on the emoji and select "copy" and then paste it into your comment in Google Docs.
I can imagine that there are colleagues who think it looks too informal and childish, but at the same time I think that the most important thing must be that communication works well, that it is fulfilling to take part of the feedback to make sure that the students do not lose motivation. In order to achieve that you may have to sacrifice your pride and spread some happy emojis around you.
I am the technician who became a librarian, but who got tired of the quiet and peaceful life at the library and started working as a teacher. I brought with me everything I knew about databases, information retrieval and networks and soon I was an ICT-educator. Today, I work as a teacher at Komvux in Norrköping.
I have always had a nerdy great interest in technology. I can find interest in everything from robots to model railroads or the steel industry of the industrial revolution. Technology should take us forward and prevent us from everything boring. You need to dare to be somewhat lazy and ask yourself if there is no easier way to get something done. The human desire to get away is what has driven the technical development and find time for other things. Like model railroads, for instance!
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