Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Google Drive in the K12 Art Classroom

As an incredibly busy person, whose ambitions often run away from her, I'm a huge proponent of working smarter not harder. Honestly, I think just about everyone is a proponent of that. Along the lines of the working smarter vein, I've simply got to talk to about using Google Drive in the Art classroom.

I know. I know. As teachers, we've been hearing about the awesomeness of Google Drive for a minute. And, some of us, may have even attended some of the Google for Education infomercials. . .Oh! I mean conferences (actually, the conferences are pretty cool, but mostly targeted at the newbie tech user).  I attended one of the conferences, and I spent most of my time re-examining Google Art Project (which is incredibly epic and useful; if you haven't checked it out you should get on that. Now.). What I failed to do, was spend any time giving Google Drive any regard. In fact, the only time I've seriously used Google Drive was when I wanted to share 8GB of lesson plans and didn't want to send 30+ emails. I figured as a teacher of visual content, I just didn't have much use or time for an application aimed at primarily word processing type ventures. 

I was so. so. so. wrong. 

My roomie, Mi, at NAEA this past year is a Google Drive Maven. Mi teaches elementary art at a Title I school in the metro Atlanta area, and she uses Google Drive in her classroom every day. When she told me this, I thought maybe she was exaggerating. . . But, when she started showing me what she could do with Google Drive, I was a believer! We sat in our rented condo in San Diego and Mi started pulling up document after document in Google Drive of carefully thought-out artistic responses from elementary students. I was astounded.

Fast forward to this summer. I'm in the midst of re-writing my class website and brainstorming about possible ways in which I can increase meaningful feedback from my students. . .And, manage the daily responses of 300+ students. So, I sent Mi a little email, and asked her to explain to me one the ways in which she utilizes Google Drive. Mi asks her students to fill out a "Ticket out the Door" as a closer to her daily activities (I'm sure you are familiar with this practice). But, she offers the students three different ways in which they can complete this task: 1) they can go online, click on a link, and fill out a Google Form, 2) they can fill out a slip in real-time and turn it in, and 3) they can use a mobile device scan a QR code posted in the classroom that links the to the Google Form. Mi is then able to login to her Google Drive account and view a spreadsheet of the student responses that she can organize in a manner similar to Excel (and I'm pretty sure you can export the spreadsheets to Excel, too). Below, is a picture from Mi's classroom website detailing this process to her students. 
image from Mi's class website, found here. 
Is this not the most genius idea?! And, before you get all naysayer about the access to technology for students and/or language issues etc.; I would like to remind you that Mi teaches in a Title I school and is asking this of students aged 3rd grade and higher. In addition to this genius, Mi is able to examine responses of students over the course of a year if she so chooses! Talk about being able to examine some data!

I knew I had to get in on this level of awesome. So, I've already designed my own exit slips in Google Drive for next year using almost the same process as Mi. Additionally, my advanced students are required to keep a log of artwork created/time spent engaged in art-like activities outside of the classroom, and are expected to achieve at least 2000 minutes over the course of the school year (this is mandated by my district). This past year, keeping track of paper logs was i n s a n e. So, I decided to try out allowing students to log their minutes using Google Form (which is what Mi is doing with her exit slips). 

I've taken screen shots of my process and posted them below with some directions. I hope you consider utilizing Google Drive in some manner in your classroom next year; there are soooo many applications for it. And, honestly, I like how easy it is to track data. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to show this kind of data -as an Art teacher- to your principal?! Do you already use Google Drive in your classroom? If so, please share! And, if you do decide to use Google Drive next year, let me know! I'd love to be able to tell Mi just how many people she has inspired.

Here is the front of my classroom website, complete with link to the Exit Slips (circled).
class website found here
This is what the students' see when they click on the Exit Slip link.

This is what the Exit Slip page looks like to students (I've pretended to be student Leo DaVinci). 

Once a student clicks on "Submit," they see this confirmation.

When I login to my Google Drive account (you already have one if you have a gmail account!), this is what I see.


I am able to click on the title of my Google Form, "Exit Slips 2014-2015 (Responses)" and see a spreadsheet of student responses to the form.

Pretty, amazing huh!?

But, you may ask, "How do you create such forms?" It is really simple, and here are a few pictures to help you out. Back in your Google Drive account, click on "Create" and choose, "Form." You will see something like this.
Google has designed the process of making a form extremely intuitive. It is much easier to go and "play" with it, than it would be to follow any directions I might give you. Once you are done creating the form, click on "Send Form" and the form is officially created and you will be given a URL link to the location of your form online.

I mentioned above, that I plan to use Google Drive to track my advanced kiddo's log sheets for outside-of-Art-class-time. Here is what that looks like.

First, they will go to our class page (on the class website). 

Once they click on "Log Link" they will be redirected to the page below which allows them to log their time. 

Enjoy Guys!!



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great info! I am also working on a school site that is a Google site for next school year. Supposedly all staff and students will have a Google account and the teachers are going to be encouraged to have a site the students can access. I took a short class and found the info very interesting but i need a lot of time to explore and figure it out! That's my mission for this summer! So far I have found working with Google sites a little difficult and not very user friendly but maybe it's because I have so much more to learn... :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Within Google Drive there is also an option for "add ons," which can help you create student folders for distributing documents and receiving any assignments (such as an artist statement) so they are not filling up your inbox. You can also create personalized form letters and emails or certificates. As the yearbook advisor, I also plan to use forms and the mail merge feature to have students and parents input data about extracurricular activities that I can then merge, copy and paste into the yearbook site. It will save me HOURS next spring! Google Drive is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. For the exit slips... does it just continue to track the responses? Do you have to create new exit slip forms daily? Does it collect responses and organize them according to user name? I love this idea. I want to also have a weekly self-assessment. It would be much easier in a Google Form... I've applied to pilot Google Classroom, but haven't heard back from them yet. It will be available to all in September. I imagine it will be very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks to you an Mi for all this information. We have district programs that I have been using, but really want to dive into this more over the summer. This is inspiring, thanks!

    ReplyDelete