Sunday, January 10, 2016

Using Google Drive in the Classroom - FAQ's

Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade is moving into the digital age with a brand new product line. I have started to create a set of products that are fully-integrated with Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive. 

Are you curious about what these products are?

What Are Google Edition Products?

Google Edition products are:
  • Fully interactive
    • Just like a regular interactive notebook or flip book but the pieces are fully digital. You'll be able to manipulate without the cutting and pasting.
  • Full-color
  • No prep
  • Rigorous, engaging, technology-rich projects
  • Also compatible with Microsoft One Drive
Why Should You Work with Google Edition Products??

There may be a small learning curve if you're not used to working with digital products with your students. However, it's well worth it as it will reinvigorate your teaching and provide students with the opportunity to learn in a technology-rich environment that provides valuable career and college readiness skills.

Plus, as all schools inevitably will, you'll be one step ahead of the game when your district goes 1:1. 

Some major benefits include:

  • Students become proficient in working with Google Apps
  • Students become more proficient in typing, editing and word processing skills
  • Students are given access to college and career readiness skills on a continual basis. Colleges want students who can interact with word processing and typed documents...not students who can cut, glue and fold like a champ (not to say that that's not a great thing to include for your kids as well...let's stay with a healthy mix of both)
  • No prep. Lose the copy-machine battle and regain your time. 
  • Full color documents maintain student interest and can help with color-coding and brain imprinting when used properly
  • Easy to read (easy to grade)
  • Improve typing skills
  • Work perfectly with a 1:1 classroom or in any computer lab
  • No more lugging heavy notebooks back and forth for grading. All files are saved digitally and accessible from any location as long as you have a computer, phone, or tablet nearby.
  • All changes made by you and the student are saved immediately. You won't have to worry about lost edits or the "he said/she said" argument over school work
How Do I Use a Google Edition Product?

It's pretty simple to get started with a digital product. Once you purchase the product, you'll be given a link to the Google Edition product. 
  1. Click the link to access the digital product
  2. You will be asked if you want to make a copy of the document. YES!
  3. If the option doesn't pop up, here's a video with tips to make a copy of a document.
  4. Once you have a copy, the sharing method will vary depending on if you use Google classroom or not.
  5. If you use Google Classroom, check out this video to see how to share a digital assignment with your students.
  6. If you don't use Google Classroom, you'll want to share the document with each of your students. Here's a video to help you out. 
  7. Once you've shared the document with your students, if they're not using Google Classroom, they'll need to "MAKE A COPY" just like Step #3. If they don't, everyone will start typing into one document and it's going to be a mess. Google Classroom will do this step for you. So, if you're in Google Classroom, you just saved yourself some work!
  8. After they've made a copy of their document, they can share it with you and you will be able to immediately view all of their work. 

Need More Help?

Here, you can find a great tip sheet here for getting started with Google Classroom!

Here's a great Pinterest board full of tips-and-tricks for Google Classroom or Google Drive users!

Here's another great blog post by Danielle Knight with tons of tips for getting things going with Google Drive in your classroom!

What's New With Leah also has a ton of great tips for integrating Google Apps in your teaching!

What Do Google Drive Edition Products Look Like?

I am very happy to give you a a little peak and what things look like in a Google Drive Edition product!

Right now, I have a digital research report and some interactive flip books. Before you go any further, imagine a flip book in your mind. Now, imagine that it's interactive with pieces that you can cut off and paste into the flip book. Ok. It's exactly that but everything is digital.

Here's an example from my Solar System Flip Book...

 Everything stacks up neatly to create a colorful, pretty cover image!


The students are able to work in the document and enjoy full-color graphics to make the content more realistic and engaging. 

Where students would typically write notes into a booklet, students are not able to manipulate the text and create digital files to show their learning.

So, those are the basics in getting started with Google Drive products! If you have any questions, please ask me below. I would be more than happy to help you out!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Currently - January 2016

Wow! It's 2016! Oh my gosh! I had an incredibly amazing year in 2015 and I am hoping that 2016 keeps up with such positive momentum. I have major goals for 2016 and they start TODAY!


I recently launched a YouTube channel so I've been spending tons of time watching YouTube tutorials to get the most out of my video editing, lighting, etc. I've learned so much from watching "behind the scenes" videos by my favorite personalities. You can check out my brand new YouTube channel here!


In light of starting my YouTube channel, I purchased a new Canon camera over winter break. Hands down, one of the best investments I've ever made. Of course, I also purchased lighting, a microphone etc. Haha. I am so in love with this camera!


Today is the day that I'm venturing out and starting a new line of digital TpT resources! I'm super excited and a little bit apprehensive about the learning curve in changing up my creative style!


Okay, I've been 100 times more productive over vacation than I am on any regular day. Anyone else with me? Can I do this all the time?


It's time to get back to reality. I need prepared food soon. Groceries are calling me.

One Little Word:

My word of 2016 is focus. This is going to be my year. I have my focus set on 3 major points for the year and I can't wait to see them all materialize! Thank you so much for being with me on this journey!  Here we go!

Come link up with us and share your Currently for the new year!