Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Google Rules

My students recently completed projects on Native American tribes.  Instead of giving them specific guidelines, I gave the students a choice on how they would display their information.  They could use anything...from a hand drawn poster, a video, or any online presentation website.  I figure I would get a wide variety of presentation tools, I figured wrong!  I have a total of 147 students in 6 sections of American History, 137 students chose to use Google Slides/Presentstions, yes 137 of 147!  The other sites used included Prezi, Glogster, and SlideRocket, with one video and one hand drawn poster.
So what does this tell me?  While I gave the students a choice, an overwhelming majority chose to use Google.  The reasons for this vary, but come down to this: my school is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school, all students have google accounts and the simplicity is great for the students.  Familiarity of the product, and the ability to work in the cloud (access their work anywhere, on any device) make Google perfect for this sort of project.  Finally, all students have a "hand in" folder that is shared with me on Google Drive, so access to their projects by the teacher is seamless, no "my dog ate my project" excuses!  I joked with my students that they were all "boring" because they all used Google, however I am proud of them in utilizing the tools that our school has provided them with. Keeping it simple, and being pragmatic are both traits that extend beyond the walls of my classroom.  A ton of great projects were turned in, and more importantly they all took responsibility for their own learning, and acquired new knowledge.

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