I love Google tools, but it’s NOT about Google! It’s about how we can use these tools to create dynamic learning experiences for our students.
In this 4-part podcast series on Dynamic Learning with Google, Kasey shares all her favorite lesson ideas!
In part three, Kasey explains how we can go BEYOND our curriculum and help students discover their passions, and how we can use Google tools to support this strategy!
BONUS: Get the Dynamic Learning with Google Toolkit to help you find the best tool to support Dynamic Learning in your classroom.
It’s NOT really about Google; it’s about the opportunity we have to use these tools to support Dynamic Learning experiences with our students.
Did you miss part 1 and 2 of this series?
Here’s how you can help your students go BEYOND the curriculum and discover their passions!
Listen to this article:
Shoutout to all of the amazing educators that I met last week at FETC!
Do you have a question or idea to share on the podcast? Leave me a message here.
Quick Tip of the Week
One-Tab Chrome Extension: Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs (like I do), click the OneTab icon to close all of your open tabs and save in a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.
Dynamic Learning with Google (Part 3)
In part three, we are moving on to our next characteristic in the Dynamic Learning Framework, Beyond the Grade Level and Subject Area. Dynamic Learning is at the heart of my book, Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic.
We are going to talk about three classroom strategies to help you go Beyond the Tool, student choice, choice boards, and Project Based Learning. Then we will look at which Google tools can help support these strategies in the classroom.
Get the FREE Dynamic Learning with Google Toolkit
Fill out the form below to get access to the toolkit designed to go with this podcast series. In this Google Sheet, you will see how the Dynamic Learning characteristics align with classroom strategies and a list of recommended Google tools to help you do it!
Beyond the Grade Level and Subject Area
Let’s take kids off the conveyor belt of education and give them opportunities to learn about the things that interest them beyond the subject areas we teach and even beyond what it says they should learn in each grade level. Learning doesn’t have to fit inside a box.
I know this can sound impossible but stay with me here. Students need opportunities to explore their own passions and interests that go beyond what exists inside a prescribed curriculum. This doesn’t mean you have to teach more concepts; this means that we find ways to give students opportunities to make decisions and choose topics and projects that interest them.
Beyond the Grade Level and Subject Area with Student Choice
I’ll let you in on a secret! Student choice is the key to unlocking purpose and passion.
Student choice is the number one way we can help students find and explore their own interests. Whether that means giving them a choice of reading, choice of project or research topic, or a choice in how they demonstrate their learning–all paths will help build decision-makers and problem solvers!
To be clear, this doesn’t mean free reign. Most students cannot handle a fully open choice, but if we begin by giving them two or three options, we can baby step it to bigger decisions and choices.
It truly saddens me to see students who graduate high school without one clue about their own genuine interests. And I see this happen year after year.
Ways to Give Student’s Choice:
- Choice of reading
- Choice of project topic
- Choice of research topic
- Choice of device
- Choice of tool(s)
If you are not already giving students choice in your classroom, begin to look for those opportunities in your lessons.
Beyond the Grade Level and Subject Area with Choice Boards
Choice boards have been a long-time favorite of mine. They completely transformed my classroom and helped me to stop being such a control freak.
You can call these learning menus or choice boards, these words are interchangeable, offer a simple set of activities from which students can choose. These can be a simple list, or they can take more creative forms like a tic-tac-toe or the style of a restaurant menu.
One of the most popular posts on this blog is all about using G Suite to create interactive choice boards. In this post, you will find free templates and ideas for your classroom.
I have also created a special choice board for integrating the 4 C’s. Grab a copy here.
For a more in-depth look at choice boards, check out The Teacher’s Guide to Choice Boards.
Beyond the Grade Level and Subject Area with PBL
Project Based Learning, or PBL, opens up a world of possibilities for our students. Whether you are doing authentic PBL or jumping into something like Genius Hour, Google tools can help your students reach their goals.
What exactly is PBL?
“Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience.
As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.” – PBL Works
PBL is all about moving beyond the inauthentic, one-and-done daily lessons and activities that never connect.
Google tools can help support PBL throughout the entire process:
- Planning and research with Google Search
- Recording information and writing with Google Docs
- Collecting data with Google Forms
- Analyzing data with Google Sheets
- Managing time with Google Keep and Google Calendar
- Documenting experiments and processes with Google Photos and Video
- Presenting final projects with Google Slides or Google Sites
Ready for Part 4?
Podcast Question of the Week
How do you give students opportunities to explore their own interests in your classroom?
Post your answer to your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #ShakeUpLearning, or share it in the Shake Up Learning Community on Facebook!
The Shake Up Learning Book Study
Don’t miss our next book study! It’s completely FREE, and it’s all available online!
You can also enter to win an autographed copy of Shake Up Learning!
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