Tools that can auto-sync grading, data reports, and assignment grading are essential to the success of any teacher. There are many options for teachers to choose from. All tools offer something different. It’s important for teachers to find the best fit for their classroom to provide their students with an excellent learning experience.
In this blog, we are going to see how to use technology to create relevant, engaging, learning experiences for students, and to make your job a lot more enjoyable.
All right, first up on this list of 7 must have tech tools for Google teachers is Screencastify. Screencastify has some significant upgrades over the past year, and they just came out with some brand new ones that make this a must have for Google teachers. If you aren’t already familiar, Screencastify is a Google Chrome extension that you can use to make video tutorials for students, and students can also use it to record their screen and show their thinking. Once you’re actually recording your tutorial, Screencastify has loads of different callouts that you can use to make your videos more engaging. Once you’ve finished recording your tutorial, Screencastify has a pretty sophisticated browser-based video editor that allows you to crop video out from the middle, do things like blur sections, and also add text. You can share the direct link to your video that will take students over to the Screencastify page. You can still share videos via Google Drive, but the benefit of using the Screencastify page is that that’s going to allow you to pull a report to see engagement data on that video. But what’s even more impressive about this new Screencastify update is that you can now add checks for understanding directly into your Screencastify videos to make them interactive. It used to be that you had to download your Screencastify video and then upload it into another program like Edpuzzle to make it interactive. One extra step means one extra reason not to do it, but now the barrier to creating interactive video tutorials is gone. So, Screencastify. If you’re a Google teacher, you need it.
Must-have tool number two, Google’s Applied Digital Skills. Number one resource for teaching students about the G-suite apps that you use in your classroom. It’s 100% free to use, and because it’s a Google program, of course you can easily sync your Google Classroom roster to be able to upload assignments into Google Classroom. Once inside, you’ll find lessons with activities such as creating a personal timeline in Google Drawings, making a promotional flyer, or designing a digital badge. Although most of these lessons have students practice tech skills by doing some other activity, if you need to just teach students how to use an organized Google Drive, there’s a lesson about that. Each lesson includes a lesson plan and sample rubric, and they’re mostly made up of instructional videos. “To start, you will add a due date to complete each task. First, think of the order you want to complete the tasks. For example, you may want to study the chapters before taking a practice test.” Now, if you want to assign this lesson to students, just click Add to Class, and that’s going to push the assignment directly to Google Classroom. So the next time you plan to introduce a new G-suite app to students, or if you just want to advance their skills, check to see if there’s already a lesson you can take and use from Google’s Applied Digital Skills.
Next up is Quizizz..though its not a Google program, however, it does have a Google Classroom integration that I’m pretty certain you’re going to love. Quizizz is a game-based learning app with loads of pre-created quiz activities you can use for just a more engaging way to review what students have learned. In Quizizz, you can browse quizzes teachers have already made, and you can also use this search box up here to search for specific topics, as well as filter by grade level and subject area. Before assigning a quiz, be sure to import your class roster from Google Classroom. After you’ve imported your roster, click on a quiz to assign it. And then in the Assignment Creator, you want to scroll down to Assign to a Class, and choose one of your Google Classroom rosters. Click the purple Assign button, and now when a student logs into Google Classroom, they just need to click on that assignment and there’ll be taken over to the quiz. Students are going to answer questions to play the game, and then when they’re finished, they’ll immediately see their score. Now that the student has finished the quiz, when you go back to your teacher Google Classroom and click on the Grades tab, you’re going to see the score the student got on their quiz automatically imported into your grade book.
Speaking of grades in Google Classroom, the next tool all Google teachers need is Schoolytics. Schoolytics is a data analysis platform that syncs with Google Classroom. And it’s going to help you see student data trends, compare data across multiple classrooms, and more clearly understand grade distribution. The most powerful version of Schoolytics has to be purchased at the district level, but individual teachers can also get accounts for free. With the free teacher account, you’ll be able to see big picture data for your whole class, such as the percentage of assignments that students turned in. And you can easily see the same information for individual students. Click on an individual student, and you get an even more detailed report about all the assignments that student has completed, which you can easily convert to a progress report. There are lots of useful data points in Schoolytics. For example, you can pull a Missing Assignments report, or you could pull a Disengaged Students report, so you could quickly see who needs additional support. You can set up Schoolytics so that it auto-notifies teachers about risks and patterns in their classroom, and you can also have it auto-notify students about missing work or upcoming assignments. And there’s a student-specific portal here that they can use to monitor their own progress, as well as a parent portal, which allows parents to click on each of their student’s classes to see grades, percentage of work completed on time, missing assignments, and so on.
Since you’re watching this video, you almost certainly know about our next tool, Pear Deck, which allows you to add interactive questions to your slides. And you probably also know that Pear Deck has pre-created lesson templates, but you may not know that Pear Deck just released some templates to help you teach Be Internet Awesome digital citizenship lessons. To find these, just search “Pear Deck Be Internet Awesome” and then scroll down to Install Be Internet Awesome, and that’s going to add a bunch of files to your Google Drive. Open them up and you’ll see Google’s Be Internet Awesome curriculum already created for you as interactive Pear Deck slides. Now, another thing is that if you have Pear Deck Premium, there’s also a relatively new Pear Deck feature called Reflect and Review, that’s going to allow you to review individual students’ Pear Deck slides and give them feedback on those slides for students to see. So Pear Deck’s always been a must-have tool for Google teachers, but they keep adding new features that make it even better. It seems like every time I blink,
one of the most powerful Google Chrome extensions, Mote, has added some new features. Mote started out by allowing you to add voice notes in comments on Google Docs with the simple click of a button. “Wow, these videos scripts must take you a really long time to write.” Then they added a voice notes feature in Google Slides, which allows you to record a voice note and then drop it anywhere you want, “Hello!” And then they added their purple icon to Gmail to help make your email more accessible. “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” And they also integrated with Forms, so you can add voice notes there too. And now Mote even has an app. Why does this matter? Well, the problem is that extensions and add-ons don’t work when you’re trying to access them via a tablet or a mobile device. So if students only have smartphones and you leave them a voice note, they’ll have difficulty accessing your voice note from home. But now with the Mote app, you can open up Google Docs, tap the purple m, and then you can leave a voice note from your phone that students can also listen to from a smartphone.
Canva for Education is for school teachers, educators and students. With Canva you can easily create, design, engage and integrate classrooms effectively. It integrates with various Learning Management Systems (LMSs) like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams and many more to come. Many classroom Templates that are available in Canva which can be used as Slides and Presentation, Engaging audios and video, Charts and pictorial presentation and many more.
Let me know if you find any other tech that are must needed for the Google teachers in the comment. If you found this helpful please share it to your friends and colleague. Also, check out my must-needed Chrome extensions for teachers.