Online access is now readily available to almost everyone who has access to a school, whether it is through a computer, a mobile phone, or a tablet. This has not only made the internet a very useful tool not only for doing research easily, but also made the teacher-student boundary smaller. One way to exploit this is by using Google Drive as a platform to set work in an flipped classroom setting.
What is the Flipped Classroom?
Flipped teaching is based on the idea that the student learns new material outside the classroom through online and offline sources, while doing the traditional homework in the classroom. Though still in the early stages of research, there is plenty of promise using this method, as can be seen here, here, and here. Our school and I have used only elements of the flipped classroom, but I have seen results that seem to be quite successful. Although we still use the traditional classroom with newer techniques, I have used Google Drive to set group work for homework. Normally, it is very difficult to set group work online, but with the built-in features of Google Docs (used in Google Drive), setting up groups and monitoring it is much easier than before.
Using Google Drive
Google Drive requires a Google account for the teacher, and email accounts for all the students in the class. Once your Google account is set up, you can start setting class work and share links to videos and resources that are related to the lesson. This post will feature screenshots on how to share various materials, such as worksheets and slide shows.
How to Create a Google Document
Once you are logged into Google, you may see a welcome screen that will ask you to download a Google Drive application onto your machine. It's totally fine to skip this page. This will carry you over to the juicy part, where you can create documents, and see the files you have made.
On the upper left-hand side, there is a Create button. Click that, and file type options will become available. Each file type can have an application for the flipped classroom.
On the next page, we will explore the file types, and possible applications for the flipped classroom.
Google Drive Folder
In the Create option in Google Drive, you see that there is a Folder option and five different file types called Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Form, and Drawing.
The Google Drive Folder option is a tool that creates a folder to help organize you files within Google Drive. This makes sorting through work faster and more efficient.
If you click on the Folder option, the following screen comes up.
Type in the desired folder name, and once it is created, Google Drive will automatically take you to My Drive, where you can see the created folder. Click on the created folder just below My Drive, and the following screen will be seen.
For the purposes of this blog, we will save all created files in this folder. To make sure that files are saved in the folder, make sure that the folder name is clicked on before the
Google Drive Document
A Document is the Google Drive version of Microsoft Word, with most of the same functionality and options.
To change the file name, click on the upper left-hand side where it says "Untitled Document", and give it a new name.
Note that all changes made on the file are automatically saved, so there is no need to worry about losing any of your work.
Worksheets, revision notes, reports.
Google Drive Presentation
A Presentation is the Google Drive version of Microsoft PowerPoint, with most of the same functionality and options.
The first thing you will see with this is a screen asking for a theme to be selected. You may select any of them, and if you want to change themes you can do so later.
Once the theme has been selected, the presentation can be created just like in PowerPoint.
Just like the Document, the Presentation saves itself automatically.
Presentations, revision notes.
Google Drive Form
A Form is the Google Drive option for making questionnaires of any kind.
Just like the Presentation, the Form comes with themes which can be selected before making the file, or after.
The Form has a variety of fields for text.
- The Question Title is where the question is placed.
- The Help Text is usually for any additional information for the question. This may be left blank.
- The Question Type can be used to change how the responses are put in. Available choices are Multiple Choice, Check Boxes, Selections, Short Text, Paragraph Text, Scale, Grid, Time, and Date.
Additional questions can be made in the Form by clicking on Add Item near the bottom of the page. At the very bottom of the page, you have the option to send the Form to the recipients
The Form saves itself automatically.
Google Drive Drawing
A Drawing is the Google Drive tool for making illustrations.
The Drawing file type will let you draw different shapes like lines, simple polygons and circles. Text boxes can also be inserted. Probably the most useful feature of the Drawing is the ability to insert an image for an easier visual explanation of a certain topic or concept.
The Drawing saves itself automatically just like all the other file types.
A Final Word
Feel free to explore the possibilities that Google Drive has to offer. One way to make marking easier is by using Doctopus. We can discuss this further later on, but the link provided should be a great start for using this Google Drive extension.