Do More with Google Docs- 70+ ideas

Google Docs is a great tool that has been around for a few years. I have been using Google Docs with friends, colleagues, and students for a little over two years now.

The benefits of Google Docs and apps are endless. Google Docs enables multiple people in different locations to collaborate simultaneously on the same document from any computer with Internet access. For example with my graduate class, I had a project on the 1930’s with a partner who lives in Colorado. Rather than wasting hours on the phone with my partner, we used Google Docs and communicated through the chat feature and we simultaneously created our project together in “real time.”

In the classroom, it is also beneficial. This is the first semester where a huge majority of my students are familiar with Google docs and it’s benefits from other classes. I have had students who were sick  at home collaborating with their group. Today, I had a student placed in the in school suspension room. He worked on his project with his partner using Google Documents.  Google Documents increases learning because it encourages collaboration, project based learning, and it is efficient.

I have used Google documents for PowerPoint, word, excel, and forms.I learned about some interesting ideas and ways to use Google Docs in the classroom from a blog called EdTe-CH written by Thomas Barrett. This blog has 70 + ways to creatively use Google Forms in the classroom.

I read through the following 70 + ideas in the slide-show and found myself going right to my Google Doc and creating forms. This is one form I made based after reading the blog. I designed the form to have students “rate” other student’s documentary projects and give them positive as well as constructive feedback. Another form I created is for recording specific behaviors within my classroom.

Thanks for the great ideas!

For more information:  Google Docs

Free Classroom Tools and Games

I recently read about Classroom Tools from Michael Gorman’s blog 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning.

This site offers free educational games, activities, quizzes and templates. The website even allows you to use them on your own blog and modify them to fit your needs. The site has a bunch of templates  that seem interesting and educational to use in the classroom. I just downloaded the random name sorter and the count down timer.

For more information visit:

Week in Rap

I am always searching for new ways to get my students engaged in the world. I started using Week in Rap this year and have found it to be a useful and educational way to motivate my students and make them more aware of the news. My students seem to enjoy the rap and are more informed about the world. We usually watch the rap on Monday’s, discuss it, add other current events throughout the week, and they take a ten question quiz on Friday’s. Do you feel more informed about current events with the Week in Rap?

The Week in Rap is a weekly summary of news headlines in the form of a short rap video. The site was created by Flocabulary, and the songs and videos are written by Flocabulary artists.

Sexting: New Law Proposed

The state of Texas is considering a new law focused specifically on the issue of “sexting.” The Texas Attorney General says the goal of the new law is to educate students rather than make them criminals. Today, sexting is becoming a very serious issue with harsh consequences.

A new survey shows one in five teens admitted sending or posting suggestive images of themselves. Nearly four in ten teens admitted sending sexually suggestive messages. The proposed law would charge the teen with a misdemeanor, forcing a court appearance, and require parents to enroll in an educational program. Eventually, offenders could wipe the slate clean at 17 years old.

For more information visit: National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Test Anxiety

If you know students who seem to have real trouble during test time, have them look at Test Anxiety Tips. This site can help students by proving them with a multitude of stress-free test taking. The site has a wealth of knowledge about the different types of test anxiety, as well as strategies for dealing with it.

Study Tips to Reduce Test Anxiety

One way to battle test anxiety is through prevention.

A large part of prevention is preparation, as many cases of test anxiety stem from a lack of preparation. In this situation, you find yourself faced with a complex test and realize that your study regimen has not been adequate enough for you to pass the test with flying colors.
Ensuring that you know the course material before test day helps build your confidence and makes it easier for you to recall the correct answers while you are taking the test. The best way to prepare, of course, is to study.

Efficient Studying

Many students focus on the amount of time spent studying. When it comes to effective studying, though, quality often counts more than quantity. In fact, increasing the quality of your study time can greatly reduce the amount of time you have to set aside to hit the books, as well as greatly increase your overall mastery of the material.

Tips to Ensure Quality Study Time
Just reading through course books, notes and handouts does not always provide the best coverage of the necessary material. One of the best ways to increase the quality of your study time, and thus reduce test anxiety, is to ensure that you use your time efficiently. Here are some ways to increase the effectiveness of your study sessions.

  1. Space out your study time. Spending an hour each night looking over the day’s notes and assigned materials is much more effective than “cramming” the week—or even the night—before the test.
  2. Focus on the most relevant materials. Most textbooks include material that will not be covered on tests. Paying attention to what material is stressed in class can help you narrow down what sections of the textbooks should receive the most attention.
  3. Study with a friend. Having someone else quiz you on test material can help you with quick information retrieval, which can build your confidence. As an added bonus, you can help your study pal in the same way

Using these tips, as well as others found on this website, can help you increase the efficiency of your study time. Knowing you have studied in the best and most thorough way possible will help you approach the test with confidence—and without test anxiety.

For more information visit: