#flipclass #specialskillz

Tonight’s #flipclass #flashblog revolves around what is that one special thing(s) that makes fliplcass work in our classroom.

Having already posted on my love of neon expos about two years ago (and PS -that love is still strong), I’ve also found a few other things that make my class groovy. This has come in the form of a classroom set of chromebooks, and Google Drive. This has changed the way I organize and provide feedback to my students.

One of the best parts of our Advanced Biology program is the Independent Research Project. This is an entirely self-designed controlled experiment that they conduct through most of second semester. This takes a large amount of planning and meeting with the students. This year I have two nearly full sections, and I allowed them to partner up with anyone if they wanted (or fly solo). Since some were working ‘cross section,’ I needed a way to keep them ordered and have a way to make sure I could schedule the important meetings (each group has to meet with me twice before they write their proposal).

This is where Form Mule and Doctopus come in…

Form Mule is a Google Sheet add-on by New Visions CloudLab which allows me to create a form for my students to fill out to schedule their meeting time. When they hit submit, they receive an immediate personalized email with the time they picked and any other information I want them to have (the script walks you through creating the email – so very nice!). And because the students fill out a form, I also have the results nicely organized on a google sheet. This has been a life saver.

Before each group can begin the project, they need to write a proposal outlining their plan. This year, I decided to use Doctopus to send each group their proposal template. Doctopus is another most awesome add-on script by New Visions Cloud Lab that can push out template documents to your students in your class (similar to Autocrat). I love it because I technically own the document and control the settings. It also will allow you to format who you send the templates to: individuals, groups, etc. As the students work on their proposal, because it is a google doc, I can get in there and during their writing process and provide comments and see how they are doing. This lets me give feedback during the writing and will ultimately let my students get to work on their projects sooner. And with one click, I ‘collect’ the papers when they are due by changing the edit setting to ‘view only.’

I love being part of the process with my students rather than an observer after they turn it in.

Both of these have saved time and have kept me far more organized. I see them becoming far more frequent as I move towards a more paperless classroom.

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