Google does not seem to stop providing great tools for the classroom, and one that is underappreciated is Google Draw and its benefits in the classroom.
For starters, this application is free to download and use, much like other Google applications commonly used in educations, including google docs, sheets and so much more.
This app application allows a teacher endless possibilities when it comes to assignments online and opens the doors to endless examples of creativity for students, some examples of assignments or usages of Google draw, which are further explained in the video below:
Provide Interactive Worksheets
Explains Complex Concepts
Labeling of Images
Show Visuals And Diagrams
Produce and show Timelines
Moreover, the application can be used in the same way current assignments are given in google classroom. As an educator, you can link an interactive assignment for your students (No matter the subject) and your students can complete the assignment completely paperless online.
Below is a fellow PLN from Twitter giving an example of his usage of the App.
It is clear to see that this application can be implemented into the classroom, alongside other online apps that have been found to be useful, The applications are beneficial in all subject areas and because of interactive nature, it can be used in substitute of paper for a greener classroom.
I recommend in the classroom, no matter the age or the subject area because of its, many benefits, but for those of you who are still unsure of how to use the application, attaches below is a lesson plan that may assist you in your next lesson.
The educational field has for some time, been considered a safe zone or a career where people don’t get fired and everything is dandy, this is not the case. In today’s day and age, the educational field has its own risks and specific guidelines that need to be followed exactly. That being said, If future educators are not aware of changing policies, there just be up for a career change.
For example, just recently, a teacher’s career is on the line because of social media post that was made more than a decade ago. This educator has to deal with the potential loss of his career for a distasteful post on social media.
That being said, as educators our every action is under the microscope and when it comes to technology those actions, no matter how old, can affect the likeness that we keep our jobs or it can even likeness we find or even obtain a new job following a dismissal. Moreover, understanding the dangers of technology can either make or break our career as educators. The culture is constantly changing and at times educators need to be like chameleons and adapt to the environment, whether we know it or not teachers are constantly in the limelight, understanding the risks are hand and taking actions to protect yourself against the misuse of technology may just save your career.
Many educators are unaware of the growing risk of technology and I have decided to point out three tips to keep in mind, throughout your life, and within the classroom in order to play it safe, protect yourself and protect your students.
Beware of Social Media
Recently, social media has begun part of our everyday lives, it connects us to family and friends and even colleagues who assist us in our journey. At times it feels like they would be no danger on these sites or one may think that their facebook or twitter is a safe zone for their thoughts and feelings. This is not always the case, Our social media sites have become reflections of ourselves and posts and those who we interact with can misconstrued in countless ways. By understanding the privacy settings of the various sites you can make sure to prevent unwanted viewers on your site who can either comment or tag you in inapposite material. Also, you can make it your mission to not post controversial photos, vernacular or ideas which may raise eyebrows considering your career as a teacher and the influence you have on the youth. Lastly, it may be very important to “purge” your social media sites of anything that you feel may question your professionalism, such as old pictures, posts or anything that was done at a previous time in your life, so that you may not be questioned for something that happened a decade ago. (Be wary with this, because many feelings change over time, so something that was 100% ok a decade ago, may not be seen as ok in today’s changing social climate.
FERPA or the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (1974) serves to protect the privacy or a students educational information. The law limits, third party access to student information and only grants it to selected individuals, including parents and school administration. The law is in place to protect students and to make sure that their information is not wrongfully distributed. This destruction can be made in many ways and technology can cause some teacher to either purposely or accidentally spread information about their students.
This law should be clearly understood and abided, I would recommend reading up on the law and becoming aware, so you may not fall into trouble by unknowing breaking it. When it comes to technology I recommend not taking pictures of students to work where it displays their name and any other personal information, block out any information before taking the picture and be careful with who you share it. Also, if you grade your students online do not leave your computer or other devices accessible so to prevent others from gaining the information. Also, be wary about posting your students on your social media, whether negative or positive, these posts can also be looked at breaking the law and it may cost you your job.
Understand your Technology
Lastly, I’d like to touch on a very important thought about technology in the classroom. As an educator, there are many things going on the classroom that may distract us from the amount of technology around us, or we have been so accustomed to it that at times we forget its potential, good or bad. In this case, it may be beneficial to our well being that we keep a mind of the dangers. Technology in the classroom is an ever-growing field and it needs to be accustomed to a high amount of responsibility. Technology has many hidden features that need to be fully realized. For instance, computers have access to the world wide web and if not protected carefully can give your students access to unnecessary websites or functions. As educators, we truly need the eyes on the back of our heads in reference to technology, especially in an age where it seems students know more about eh equipment than their educators.
Many issues can revolve around not fully realizing the potential danger of easily accessible technology, for instance, there was a case of a teacher in South Carolina who had NFSW picture in her private phone and it somehow got into the hands of students who then shared the picture. The teacher has since been removed from her position and further actions were taken. Read below
Even in the case, where this teacher may have been doing her job and may have fallen victim, she was to blame for not understanding how crucial it is to keep watch of the technology in the class and to be observant how it is being used. I suggest leaving your cellular device away from students view or making sure to also purge it of unnecessary items, or even put more security passwords on it. This should be understood about all technology in the classroom.
Check out this video of example classroom rules when it comes to technology, your rules may differ depending on equipment but it is important to set certain usage guidelines.
Teaching is a very serious job and if we don’t see it as such we may fall victim to the consequence. Again, we need to adapt to our environments and understand the dangers that are around us. While being great educators we need to also protect ourselves.
As always, follow me on Twitter, where I post further thought on education, @mrjoshtorres
While I was reading the article the five risks of technology in the classroom spurred my reaction to how I believe technology affects education and how it should be understood, rather than simply being a negative attribute to education.
The article poses 5 reasons to why technology poses risks in the classroom, they include:
The Threat to Student Privacy
The Proliferation of ‘Personalized Learning
The Extensive Use of Technology for Assessment.
The Cyber Charter School
Money in Edtech
Although each risk has its valid points, I would like to take a moment to argue how these risks can be prevented without necessarily removing technology from the classroom or believing that technology is simply no good. That being said, the author does pose interesting arguments and I agree with some of the points expressed.
The Threat to Student Privacy
Student privacy is extremely important and educators understand this. That being said, student information should, in fact, be very secure within the equipment given to them and it should also be limited. For instance, schools that provide students with laptops or tablets to take home should have limitations and they should be encrypted to protect both school information and student information. By implementing safety features and preventing access to fraudulent or risky sites, the issues of student privacy will be taken care of.
The Proliferation of ‘Personalized Learning
Personalized learning or Competency-based learning is an ever growing way to teach students in the classroom. The method does involve more technology-driven practices but that does not make technology the culprit to how students are learning. This basis of learning is simply going with the flow of how students are learning and assisting them in the path, the fear that students will be almost robotlike is absurd. Teachers are in the journey with the students throughout it all, technology cannot be seen as the main cause of education, it is simply a helper tool.
Quick video for CBL:
The Extensive Use of Technology for Assessment
The use of Technology for assessments has been growing rather rapidly lately. This could be because of the speed of the results or the ability to see the knowledge of a large number of students. That being said the use of standardized tests and technology-based grading does have its benefits. Through these tests, educational organizations can see the status of students and view their understanding of subjects. On the other hand, I agree with the author of the article on technologies used in grading essays. It does not make much sense to grade a variety of words through a computer system, maybe it would be best to leave technology grading to multiple choice answers to fill in the blanks.
The Cyber Charter School
The author of this article does pose an interesting argument about the issues and risks of online charter schools. That being said, the current problems with established online charter schools should not give way to removing this type of education. This type of education fits the schedules and abilities of many students and the deliverance of important subject matter can still be provided in online forms, making the schools just as efficient as normal schools. Although I agree there should be more emphasis on these types of school and more thought put into the students who are placed into them, also their progress in the online school should be monitored on higher levels. Furthermore, modifications or accommodations should be made to make individual students’ education the best that it can be, the same way it is done in a brick and mortar school.
Money in Edtech
The author speaks about the risk of overspending and falling into the cycle of overbuying electronic items just to let them become obsolete in a just a few years, an issue not typically seen with basic instructional equipment with no expiration date. The author makes a valid point of a downfall with high use of technology in the classroom. Although this is an issue that should be taken up from district to district, some schools understand the issues revolving around obsolete equipment and they purchase equipment accordingly, as to have the most life to each item. I’d advise all school district to do heavy research on a variety of educational tools for their classroom and understanding how the spending will affect both the financial needs of the school and the educational benefits of the students.
Education is ever changing and ever growing field, although there may be downfalls to certain tactics used in the classroom, those negatives may be overpowered by the positives. As educators we must be keen to see the problems and find ways to solve them, although my ideas are one way to solve the issues, there are many other ways as well. Working together is key to create the greatest educational environment for eager learners.
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Hello, My name is Joshua Torres, I am an aspiring educator with a focus on Highschool History, I will use this platform to speak on important subjects that concern me and invoke conversation. Welcome to my journey.