Using Google Drive with your Students

What about finding a website that allow many people to work on the same worksheet or project at the same time ,but from different places? Luckily, Google thought about creating a Drive to do so. It is called Google Drive.

What is Google Drive?

To use Google Drive, you have to create yourself a Gmail address on Google. After doing so, you can access your Google Drive account with that address. Once you have your account, you have 5GB of storage place. So no more need for a USB key. On the Drive, you can create text documents, online presentations, calculation sheets, and do many other useful things. Once your file is created, you can share it with whoever you want simply by clicking on the ‘’share’’ option at the top of the page. Obviously, people with who you are sharing your work need to have a Gmail account. Once you shared it, you can chose whether you want them to edit the document or not. If you want them to do so, they can add comments and feedbacks on the work done by selecting the ‘’insert a comment’’ option. You can also use your Gmail address as an Email address.

Advantages

As a future ESL teacher, it is interesting because you can share everything you have shown in class with your students on Google Drive. That way, your students always have access to all the information you gave them. Also, you can share homework template on Google Drive and allow your students to edit it in order to complete the worksheet. You and your students can also add comments to the documents so that you can answer their questions and they can comment on each other’s work. We can also keep some private files on the Drive. For example, we can keep a document on which we take the class attendance. You can always use the same document and you don’t need to print out a new class list for every class. We can also keep the grades of our students on a calculation sheet in order to not have to do all the calculation at the end of every semester. We only have to create the file once and then fil it up every time we want to instead of redoing the work all the time.

For students, Google Drive is a really nice tool that can make their life easier. By having a drive account, students don’t need to show up at school to make teamwork anymore. They can share the work they have to do with each other and work on it from their home. What is even greater about Google Drive is that the teammates can have a conversation on it while doing their project. Also, they can stuck everything on it and have access to it from everywhere and on every device. Thus, no more forgotten homework or project at home.

The most important advantage in my opinion is that it is free. We can use Google Drive as we would use Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher, etc. One of the main difference I can find between those programs and Google Drive is that the Drive is free.

The only thing that I can point out that could be a problem with using Google Drive with your students is that we need to have access to internet at all time to use it. But, this is not a big problem according to me , because in 2015 it is easy to get free Wi-Fi. You can get it in pretty much every public places.

As a student who is using Google Drive, I can say that it is a really nice tool. It is actually the tool that my teachers showed me that I find the most useful. Everything can be done so fast. The thing that I like the most is that more than one person can work on the same document at the same time from different places or different devices. It makes things so easy for everyone.

Catherine Hébert

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Advantages of having a Smart board in a classroom

Advantages of having a Smart board in a classroom

More and more school have the chance to get Smart boards in their classrooms. While I was in high school, couple of years ago, we would see Smart boards only in math and sciences classes. I remember that teachers were having so much difficulty using them. It was a new technology. Now, those boards are used by every teachers and in any classes. There are 10 types of Smart board that schools can buy depending on the needs. There are now trainings given to teachers so they get familiar with that new technology.

Smart boards give some kind of a flexibility to classes. You can still have the traditional teaching in your class; the teacher is in front of the class and gives some grammar lessons and students take notes. But with the interactive board, when the teacher sees that his students are getting tired of sitting on their chairs and listening to him, he can turn on the board and find some activities to do on it related to what he just taught to his students. That way, the student attention is attract to the front of the class because. Humans are curious, so whenever something unusual happens around us, it catches our attention.

Another advantage is that threw the Smart board, the teachers can directly get into the internet and have access to multiple resources. In fact, if the teacher feels like it would be interesting to show a video to reinforce the lesson he is giving, he doesn’t have to open the computer, the projector and prepare the video. The only thing he has to do is to click on the board and get the video he wants. Everything becomes more accessible with Smart Boards. It is quick and easy to have access to online resources at all time.

Those boards are interactive so the students can be more involve in the teaching. The teacher can ask a student to come on the board and draw something or answer a question. Afterwards, the work done can be save for a later use. As if the teacher explains something to the class and the bell rings, the teacher can save what he was doing and start the next class with it. He is saving time and his students won’t feel completely lost because they will remember to have seen that image on the board before.

As a future ESL teacher, I feel like having a Smart board in my class would be a big advantage. It would be an advantage for the reasons I pointed out before, but also because I think it can give a hand to teachers for classroom management. I think that students are more attentive when something is taught on a Smart board because it is different and also because it is interactive; it moves, there are many colors and many things can happen at the same time on the board. Also, kids and teenagers are always attracted by technologies, so if they know they can be ask to go on the board to answer a question and to try out the board at the same time, they will be happy and they will listen in class to make sure they can answer the question whenever you ask them to go on the board. I never experienced the Smart board in front of a class myself, but I know that with a good training and by being ready to use it, every teacher can benefit from that new technology.

Catherine Hébert

Notability : Easy way to take notes on your iPad

Recently, some schools started to ask their students to use iPads in class. Many application have been made for school’s purpose since then. I have been browsing on Apple Store to see what kind of application they were offering to students. Threw the hundreds I saw, there is one that I thought was particularly interesting. It is called Notability.

It is an application that is made to manage the notes you take in class. You can type your notes on it or you can record your teacher while he is talking in class to make sure you did not lose anything the teacher said. You don’t have to worry about having a beautiful handwriting, with this app you are sure that you will be able to reread all the notes you took in class. You can easily change the typing style, the color of the text, highlight stuff that you felt important, etc. You can make your notes pretty and understandable supper easily. Plus, the records you make are directly linked to your notes. Thus, you don’t have to search for which audio file is going with what typed notes file when you want to review. Everything is done automatically. You can put as much details as you like in your notes.

You can also markup documents and forms by importing PDF’s document or power point in Notability. That way, you don’t have to print out the power point and the documents the teacher sent to take notes on it. You can do everything with the app directly on your iPad, iPhone or iMac. You can also markup pictures that you took via Notability.

This application is also synchronized with cloud storage solutions. This is something fantastic because it is a very safe way to save your notes and everything you did with Notability. Even more, if you lose the electronic devise on which you have all your notes, you will be able to have them back by login yourself on iCloud. iCloud also give you the opportunity of sharing your notes with other people and also see the notes that people shared with you. Thus, if you feel there is something missing in your notes, you can always ask someone to share them with you on iCloud and you will be able to pick them up via Notability and mark them up afterwards. Also, once you are satisfied with your notes, you can share them via Dropbox, Google Drive, Email or AirDrop. By sharing your work, you can receive audio and written feedbacks from your peer on your file directly on Notability. Of course, your peers have to have a Notability account to do so, but still it is useful.

It is an application that is very useful, but that is also really cheap to buy. It is only 2,99$ on Apple Store. What is amazing it that you can switch very fast from writing to drawing, so you can easily keep the pace of the class. The app is getting faster every time there is an update done on it. This app is ratted four stars from most reviewer on the App Store website

As a future ESL teacher, I feel like having my students have Notability on their electronic devices in class would be an advantage. If is easier for them to take clear notes in class threw this application with all the options it offers. Also, they could record the teacher’s voice. This would save them time whenever they have a question. They only have to go back on the record and listen to it again to find out about the information they are looking for. It also saves time to the teacher because he does not have to repeat himself. I think that Notability is a very nice and useful application that every Apple product’s owner should buy.

Catherine Hébert

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