Hello everyone! Today, we are going to be talking about tech tool C. This is the last tech tool you will need to set-up for this system, so the hard part is almost over! You got this! The important part today is that you know what tool is the best fit for you, so just keep that in mind if somethings sounds kind of technical in detail.
The teacher tutorials are attached below on how to get tech tool C set-up. I also have a cheat sheet for today that condenses the information in a graphic organizer from today, so you can cheat if you like! Actually though, you should read below. The cheat sheet is to clarify it for you all, so you can clearly know which tech tool C option will be the best fit for you to set-up.
If you already use tech tool C and it does not have the name Google in it, don't fall asleep on me. Wake up! Haha! No seriously, I do have some information below about PowerPoint that you might not be aware of if you have not really used tech tool B and C together.
Reasons to Use Tech Tool C
•Tech tool A & B will not function well in your classroom without it.
•It provides an organization system.
•It provides a way to hand assignments back and forth easily. (After all, you need a way to access those lovely images students created in a pic app without needing to open all 542 devices for the 542 students up in your classroom! 542 sounds about right these days, right?)
•It is like the control tower of the tech used in your classroom.
Is Tech Tool C Just Learning Management Systems?
It is for you if you got one that works well with PowerPoint or use Google Classroom. However, Tech Tool C also includes a system that mimics a hub for managing student work.
Now, I know many of you probably have access to one of these already with your school or district. Hang in here and hear it out though because it might not play well with tech tool B.
Now for those not familiar, a learning management system is an application that allows you to manage student’s digital assignments in an organized way. It is like your own digital teaching bag that holds the digital projects for students to complete, and a place where you have them all once they are collected back. Instead of toting around an actual teacher bag, you can open your computer to your LMS to review student work. It also does a lot more than that.
Keep It Simple
For this simple three-step system, you mainly just need a way to give students digital assignments in an organized way and an easy way for them to turn it back into you. Any other fancy features you can expand upon as you feel comfortable to do so.
How to Know What System to Use
First off, there is not a one size fits all because it really is going to depend on what your school has set-up for you already.
If you are using Google Classroom with your school, than you are good to go. You can skip down to the bottom to the heading that says, "Video Tutorials, Cheat Sheets & Final Thoughts."
If you are using Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams is a good option. In Teams, students can access their file in PowerPoint Online or in the app that is also online. Plus, it defaults to making an individual copy for each student, so they are not working in the same file. I have a tutorial attached for Teams below. I have not heard Microsoft call this a learning management system, even though it really has the features of one.
If you are at a school that requires you to use a different learning management system, you may need to look into integrating Teams if possible unless you have access to an LMS that plays nice with PowerPoint Online. The reason I suggest Teams is because other learning management systems don’t always play nice with online applications like Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint. Many offer ways for you to attach PowerPoints that need to be downloaded and uploaded. That means you need the desktop version of PowerPoint to do that, and it needs to be done on either a desktop on laptop. It is not quite ideal to have to download and upload files either, since that can quickly evaporate time.
If you are on an iPad or tablet, PowerPoint is online. Therefore, it's not going to work with any LMS that only allows users to download and upload the PowerPoint files. The main issue with the online version is students are going to be all working in the same file if they open it up online, and there is not a way to make individual copies of the file.
The truth is many of these learning management systems are more cut out for desktops and laptops when it comes to incorporating these fundamental programs that allow you room to infuse content, creativity, and activities higher-up on Bloom's Taxonomy. Many have a long way to go when it comes to being user friendly with online applications like Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides.
Although, you can always look to see if your LMS plays nice. It may! There are literally hundreds out there, so it is possible some might. Many LMS have information on to attach different types of files, so just look on their sites in the help section for PowerPoint to find out how it is done.
Some Alternatives If Your LMS Does Not Play Nice with PowerPoint Online
You can however possibly use those student email accounts that was used for that learning management system to set-up student accounts in Teams. (As long as your school lets you do that, of course. I recommend getting permission because privacy laws are complicated! Office 365 is COPPA compliant though.)
If you absolutely can not use Teams or you don't have email addresses set-up through your school to create a class for teams, I have a work around for you. Now do make sure you can do this at your school when in doubt.
It’s not ideal, but you can pass student files back and forth in an account that is compliant with privacy laws.
Let’s talk about this alternative for those without an LMS and those who can’t use Teams.
The work around is to use a single OneDrive account with folders for each student to access. Like I said, not ideal. However, it gets the job done. Students can each have a folder of their own in your OneDrive to access their assignments. I just recommend that you not use that account for storing your master copies of files or anything significantly super important. You may also want to have something else to back-up student work. I will have a tutorial attached below for this.
So why not use Google Apps as a work around with a personal Google account?
There is one major concern with using Google Slides and other Google apps like a free Google Drive from a personal account. If you are in a classroom, you must have the one that is set-up with the Google Apps for Education suite through your school or district. The reason is because they set-up individual Google accounts for students to use that are compliant with with privacy laws here in the USA, and the free personal Google accounts outside of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) does not currently comply with privacy laws if you put it in a student’s full name or other identifiable information like even their voice. Now of course, and this is not legal advice or even something I recommend, but there are ways to use an alias with a similar folder system like the one for OneDrive too. Of course, you can always ask your school for Google Classroom if you got your heart set on that. It’s a lot different if you are just doing something like a Google Form activity that all goes to a single drive and students all use an alias or skip last names. It's also different if you are handing the devices to students during guided reading, and their activity is in a folder for that group in your single drive and no name are put on it. Google Drive is ok for purposes like that since nothing is stored that can be used to identify the student. It’s going to be tough to maintain that fully if you are trying to manage student assignments all the time though. Sure it's not far different from OneDrive, but OneDrive is compliant currently, and you can use names. I just recommend you avoid it unless using it for something like a Google Form or to dish out a quick activity you are overseeing like in guided reading. Google doesn’t do that with GAFE, so those are compliant with FERPA and COPPA.
OneDrive on the other hand is currently FERPA and COPPA compliant. Even if you use something like the regular Office 365, you don’t have to worry about that.
Plus, PowerPoint has fantastic features. It does a LOT more than Google Slides. For any students that tend to be early finishers or need more of a challenge, there is the possibility they may become intrigued with some of the features and create some over-the-top projects like animated writing pieces or audio-ignited books without you even teaching them how to do that!
Video Tutorials, Cheat Sheets & Final Thoughts
Now, instead of me trying to explain in words how to use Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or the folder system, I am including video tutorials instead. This will also explain how to go about setting them up with tips and tricks to make it easy for your primary classroom. Links will be attached below.
Wooh! That was a hard one to put out today! Honestly, when I first drafted this, I thought it was going to be like here is option one, two, and three. I am sorry that it was not that simple and if any of that sounded complicated! Getting it set-up is the hardest part of it all.
And really, just take my word for it on what I recommend for your situation if some of that was a bit too technical, lol! Use the cheat sheet to help you figure out what tool to use if you are still unsure. The important part is that you know what tool is best for you. The other information was just there to guide you around the technical limitations.
For those already familiar with some of this, I hope I prevented some pitfalls with using PowerPoint with some LMS. That can quickly become a disaster in the class if the technical aspects of using those two together are not well thought out.
For our challenge today, I want you to watch the video and test out how to give an assignment in either Teams or Google Classroom. If you will be going with the folder system, set-up your folders instead. I have a video attached for that too.
Link to the teacher tutorials here. Password: CandyClassD4#
Find the cheat sheet on tech tool C here. It guides you to choose the best option for tech tool C.
If you have any questions, reach out to the Technology in the K-2 Classroom Facebook group here.
That is it for lesson four. The next lesson will help you bust through some myths and offer some helpful tips to help you rock this system in your classroom.
Jolene Mathew from the Candy Class