Monday, August 25, 2014

New to 1:1? Don't Panic!


Organization, Collaboration, Interaction

So, your district purchased laptops, you're a Google Apps school, you've only had one day of inservice, and you're now faced with having to integrate technology into your instructional practice!  Don't panic! If you keep in mind that technology integration is a journey and not a destination, you'll reduce some of your anxiety while coping with the expectations of your administrators. Here are some tips for maximizing your laptops in a short amount of time:


   Begin with the one of the most fundamental benefits of technology: organization. By having students create assignments within Google Drive, their work is always saved and never lost. They can access their work from home and it will be ready for them when they arrive in the morning.
   First, have students create a folder in their own Google drives for your class. Next, have them share that folder with you using your Google email address. Next, ask them to go inside of the folder they just created and make another folder called “Graded” or “Returned”. Any work you assess or comment on can be moved to that folder. This will help your students know what has most recently been graded, and it will help you see the most recent assignments within your student's drive without having to plow through previous assignments.
   Now, as the teacher, log into YOUR Google account and access Google Drive. Create a folder for each period you teach, then gather all of the shared student folders they created for you and pull them into their respective class period folders. You now have the means of exchanging assignments, grading work, or commenting all within Google Drive – no printing necessary.


   One advantage of a 1:1 environment is the ability to collaborate on a project to create solutions or to solve problems. Students can collaborate in many ways, but by sharing Google Docs, you can create a collaborative assignment for specific groups or with the entire class. Student engagement is increased when students can collaborate on...

a. Shared writing
b. Group presentations
c. Peer editing with comments
d. Group analysis
e. Shared note-taking
f.  Shared research ( aka "Digital Farming")
g. Reader response journals
f.  Experiments and Observations


   You can engage your students more meaningfully using 1:1 technology than ever before. From controlling powerpoints and inserting surveys and questions to polling students and adding questions to a video, there are several very powerful tools you can use to capture your students’ attention.

Do you show videos? Videos can be made even more productive by adding teacher comments, questions, quizzes, and surveys directly into the video. To enhance your video activities, try Educanon or EDPuzzle. You can even load an entire class roster into the websites to track assessments and student responses.

Create a more “social” class by providing backchannels for your students to comment, ask questions, or Padlet, Socrative, QuizSocket and TodaysMeet. Give everyone a voice in your class and encourage your reluctant learners to participate via technology.
respond to your prompts during class presentations. Popular backchannels include

If you enjoy using powerpoint as a means of presenting information, then using a backchannel will augment student engagement. But you can also control your presentation and what students are viewing at any time by using a great online tool called Nearpod. Upload your presentation, add questions, surveys, and quizzes, and your students will respond while you monitor their responses in real time, on the spot.

Moodle provides you with an opportunity to provide almost unlimited variations for creating diverse learning paths for students to explore, different ways for students to learn the material, or the means to remediate or enrich their understanding of skills or concepts. By supplementing your course with virtual field trips, engaging videos, simulations and games, or even your own creations, you are ensuring the opportunity for students to pursue understanding through multiple presentations and methods.


  • Technology is a vehicle for MORE student engagement and MORE teacher assessment/observation, not LESS! 
  • The skillful integration of technology is acquired over time. Start small with a goal of adding to your skill set. 
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. Your kids will survive and might even surprise you!