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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Five Ways to Turn Up the Power of Google Sheets



Google Sheets can be much more than a simple spreadsheet application. Turn up the power of Sheets with these five add-on's!

Flubaroo


Attched to a Google Sheet, Flubaroo is a powerful grading tool. Not only can it grade assignments that in a Google Sheet, but if you have the student email, you can return their grades to their shared folder.  Using one of my favorite application in Pear Deck?  You can send your Pear Deck results to a Google Sheet and use Flubaroo to grade them.

Doctopus


Doctopus is a great way to distribute classroom assignments in a paperless classroom. Students simply look in their "Shared With Me" folder for their assignment. The thing that's great about Doctopus (of which Google Classroom recently added) is that it provides a way to differntiate assignments among the students in your class. Want student "A" to do all of the questions on the worksheet while student "B" should only do half of them, it's easy to send out separate assignments. Once the due date for the assignment has arrived, you can "ingest" the assignment for grading and return the digital copy.

Goobric

Goobric takes that rubric you have on a Google Sheet and attaches it to student work for easy grading. It works hand in hand with Doctopus. Once you've got the student work in Doctopus, attach the Goobric, grade and return--it's really easy to do and makes grading simple.

Rostersync


Rostersync is heaven sent for those that are typing rosters into a spreadsheat to use for different applications such as grading apps. It works in conjunction with Google Classroom in that it pulls your roster from Classroom or vice versa sending a roster from your spreadsheet to Google Classroom. It works great when you want to set up a class with Doctopus.

Autocrat 


Autocrat is a document merge app that takes information you have on a spreadsheet and moves it to a Google Doc or PDF. For example, you've asked the students to sign in using Google Forms when attending an after school study session because want to give the students a certificate of participation. The Google Form is connected to a Google Sheet for easy reference. You can take the information on the Google Sheet and create certificates of participation using Autocrat. It's also great for use at staff meetings. The staff signs in through a Google Form that's tied to a Google Sheet. Use Autocrat to create a certificate of attendance.

Present with Maximum Student Participation with Pear Deck


I can't tout how great Pear Deck is enough.  If you want maximum student presentation during a presentation, you gotta use Pear Deck!

Pear Deck is probably the app that I use the most.  It works like any other presentation software.  You add slides using the Pear Deck editor or you can import your own from another presentation app, and add to it from there.  The thing that separates Pear Deck from PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides is that the students participate IN the slide show!

What do I mean by "IN the slideshow?"  Well, instead of the 20th Century way of passive participation, with the students taking notes as the teacher presents the information, with Pear Deck, the students are forced to answer short or long answer questions, draw, answer multiple choice questions, or choose from true or false.  Students simply login with their Google for Education accounts and away they go.

Another cool thing is that they can see their answers as well as their classmate's answers projected at the front of the classroom.  They get a kick out of seeing each other's drawings and answers to the various questions.  To top it off, the students can receive a copy of the Pear Deck along with their answers for use as a study guide when the Pear Deck presentation is complete.

Teachers are in control with Pear Deck.  They have a dashboard where they can see every student's answers, set a timer for particular questions, and set it so students can work at their own pace through the slides.  At any time, the teacher can show student answers on the front screen.  Students aren't afraid of answering for fear of what their classmates might say with Pear Deck because answers are shown anonymously.

Granted, in order for Pear Deck to be effective, students have to have their own device connected to the internet.  In today's education world, more and more schools are either equipping themselves with Chromebook carts, iPad carts or are one to one with their devices so devices are becoming less of an issue.

Pear Deck is also compatible with Google Classroom, which makes it easy to import rosters and share the "takeaway" after the presentation is over.

If you haven't checked out Pear Deck yet and have access to devices for your students, there's no better time than now to give it a look!  Go create your first Pear Deck!