This year I decided to go down the path of setting up a Google site for my class web site (https://sites.google.com/site/6michelle2013/), rather than a wikispace. I’ve been using wikispaces for the past 4+ years, but last year the layout changed when viewing wikispaces on iPads, which lead to some confusion amongst my students.
I’ve adapted well to using Google sites; it isn’t much different to wikispaces. I must admit it is a lot easier than html coding… the way I used to create web sites in the mid to late 1990s… Oh, the memories! 😉 I loved the programming side of things back then, though, as I majored in programming in my Post Grad… and I do often resort to coding when I want to tweak a few things on a web page, i.e. height and width of images or embedded objects.
This year, I’ve decided to use more Google apps and features with my class. In the past, I’ve embedded Google calendars and forms in web pages, and linked to Google docs, but seeing I’m using Google sites, I think it is fine to say that it is now Google all the way! 🙂
Google apps and features have also flowed through to my team. Last year, my team and I began to use Google docs for planning. This year, I have set up Google templates for all of our planners and term overviews. This allows everyone to access and collaborate on all documents with ease… anywhere, anytime 🙂
It is hard to believe this term is almost over… I just don’t know where the time has gone!?
I must admit, my students and I have had an amazing start to the year. Being part of a BYO iPad program, I was a little worried during the first week of school when only half of my students had their own device. My nerves soon settled over the following week when all but three students had access to one… Phew!
This is my third year now in a 1:1 iPad program. Each year I am blown away at how easily the students adapt to the technology. My class this year has taken to app selection to complete tasks like fish to water. They have been able to articulate their choices and learning to class visitors clearly, something I truly didn’t expect so soon. They are able to navigate our class site (https://sites.google.com/site/6michelle2013/) and Edmodo group with ease, as well as email me work or upload work to their shared Dropbox folder. All of this in five weeks!!! It is outstanding!!! I am so proud 🙂
We’ve set up a class Twitter account, but it is going to remain protected. We’ve been tweeting over the past few weeks and next week, we’re going to set up individual accounts. Each student will only be allowed to follow the main class account, no one else. I’m purposely putting this restriction in place to allow parents the opportunity to see how we use Twitter as an educational tool to post responses and reflections to lessons to demonstrate our learning.