Using Google Suite for the Universal Design of Learning

Design for gardining Website interface displays tools and supplies as icons
This Google Drawing was created for a doctoral mini project on an interface design task for developing a gardening website with one of my peers in an online course. This was created prior to my understanding of accessibility issues. Notice that not all icons are labeled. This would not be accessible to all. Additionally, alternative text would need to be embedded with each image.

Google Suite,  along with the Chrome browser’s Omnibox and useful extensions, can be used to enhance the teaching of all learners with universal instructional design principles. Google Suite is the new name for these features: Google Apps (Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides), Classroom, and Drive. This blog focuses on the use of technology to augment instruction through differentiation via scaffolding, formative assessments, and student collaboration. Google professional development opportunities and teacher resources are also addressed.

There are several efforts to design education with universal design in mind. Palmer and Caputo (2003) proposed seven principles for universal instructional design (UID): accessibility, consistency, explicitness, flexibility, accommodating learning spaces, minimization of effort, and supportive learning environments. The UID model recognizes those needs for course design. Its main premise is equal access to education and extends this to all types of learners and not just those with disabilities. For example, all learners can benefit from multi-modal lessons. Palmer and Caputo’s principles should be kept in mind as you develop differentiated instructional learning scenarios with Google Suite. See my blog post to learn more about universal design.

My College is a Google Apps for Education campus, which means we have unlimited storage on our Drive and seamless access to Google Suite through our school Gmail. Speak with your Google Suite administrator to learn about the features and functions of your access, as some institutions like my alma mater block YouTube and Google+. 

The following scenarios address possible technology solutions for teaching all learners. For instance, scaffolding supports different learners’ preferences, as well as the needs of lower performing students. Formative assessments are important to obtain ongoing feedback on student performance; use these often. They can be formal or informal (practice tests, exit tickets, polls). Formative tests promote active learning, which leads to higher retention of information learned. Use the following list to add your ideas and scenarios for differentiated lesson planning.

Scaffold Learning Google Tools & Features Formative Assessments Your Ideas & Scenarios
Provide visuals for structure, context, or direction & just-in-time definitions Google Drawings, Docs’ Explore tool, & Drive Students make their own graphic representation of a concept or complete guided tasks with the frame provided by an instructor.
Provide authentic speaking practice prior to oral test/presentation Google Docs’ Voice Typing, Chrome Browser’s Omnibox for a timer, & Drive Students work individually or in small group turn-taking voice typing their scripts/stories on Google Doc within a timed parameter on a split screen.
Check for comprehension to obtain data to drive instruction/remediation Google Forms, Sheets, Classroom, & Drive (Alternative: Google Slides new feature allows for asking questions & polling question priority live from slide.) Students take a quiz on Google Forms to demonstrate knowledge after a lesson (exit ticket) or homework. Instructors receive Form responses in a Google Sheet. Sheets has Explore tool for analyzing data for visual display for data-driven discussions among teacher cohort/supervisors. Auto import grades from Forms to Classroom gradebook.
Students use app with embedded choices to check their own grammar Free Chrome extension, Grammarly and/or app Students correct errors in their first writing drafts on the app or within online writing platforms (e.g., wiki, blog, or email). Grammarly is also available for MS Office and Windows but not for Google Docs. Use its app to check Docs or other writing formats by pasting content to New Document.
Hi/low peer collaboration and/or tutoring Google Apps, Classroom, & Drive Students share settings on project Docs, Drawings, etc. to collaborate via text comments or synchronous video chat sessions.

Resources for Digital Literacy Skill Training

  • Did you know that Google provides lesson plans for information literacy?
  • Do you need to teach your students how to refine their web searches? See Google Support.
  • Internet Safety Tip- Recommend that students use incognito browsing on Google Chrome when conducting searches to reduce their digital footprint. See Google’s YouTube playlist, Digital Citizenship and Security, and their training site for more information.

Accessibility Resources for Assistive Technology

  • ChromeVOX – Google’s screen reading extension for the Google Chrome browser and the screen reader used by Chrome Operating System (OS).
  • TalkBack – This is Google’s screen reading software that is typically included with Android devices. Due to the design of Android and its customizability by hardware manufacturers, TalkBack can vary and may not be included on some Android devices.
  • Screen Magnifier – This is the screen magnification software included with ChromeOS. The magnification function in ChromeOS doesn’t have a unique product name like other platforms.
  • Hey, Google – This is Google’s personal assistant, which is available in the Google Chrome browser, ChromeOS, and many Android devices.

Professional Development for Educators

Other

References

Palmer, J., & Caputo, A. (2003). Universal instructional design: Implementation guide. Guelph, Ontario: University of Guelph.

ECTESOL Conference in Pensacola Feb. 3rd

Tag words from my blog

The Emerald Coast TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference is this Saturday from 10-3 at University of West Florida International Center. The registration is $25 and includes lunch. The conference will feature professionals from northern Florida panhandle and the Alabama Gulf Coast. As a new Board member, this will be my first time attending. Here’s the schedule:

9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome – Council Vaughn, Director, International English Program
Overview of Conference – Dr. Arlene Costello, VP/ECTESOL Conference Chair
10:15 – 10:50 Keynote Speaker: Chane Eplin, Bureau Chief, Student Achievement through Language Acquisition, Florida Department of Education
Topic Address: Quality Education for English Learners K-12 and Beyond
10:55 – 11:30 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: ELs as Independent and Autonomous Learners (Kiss/Costello)
Room 2: Google Suite to Enhance English Language Instruction (Rogers)
11:35 – 12:00 Lunch and 12:00 – 12:15 Cultural Performances DOOR PRIZES
12:20 – 1:00 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Susan Ferguson Martin, Faculty, ESOL and Educational Leadership, University of South Alabama
Topic Address: Academic Language in Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum: A Functional Approach
1:05 – 1:35 Panel – Speakers
Grace McCaffery, Founder, Costa Latina
Shannon Nickinson, Project Manager, Early Learning Studer Institute
1:40 – 2:15 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: Sowing Seeds (Sessions & Cuyuch)
Room 2: ESOL, EFL, and Reciprocal Service Learning (Fregeau, Leier, Ojiambo, Cornejo, and Chikatia)
2:20 – 2:50 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: The SUCCESS from Teachers, Students, and Parents Working Together (Baker)
Room 2: Saudi ELLs’ Digital Gameplay Habits and Effects on LA (Rogers)
2:50 – 3:00 Brief Business Meeting: Report by President; Paper Report by Treasurer
Closing: Amany Habib, ECTESOL President DOOR PRIZES
3:00 – 3:20 ECTESOL Board Meeting


I’ll be presenting a case study on gameplay habits and an information session on Google Suite for enhancing English language instruction. I hope to see you there!

Google Provides Free Professional Development Online for Educators

Google Certified Educator Badge

I just completed free professional development offered to educators on Google Apps for Education to become a Google Certified Educator. Level 1 is on the fundamentals of Google Suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, & YouTube), Google Classroom, and Google Drive.  It’s a competency-based, self-directed learning program.

I’ve been using Google Apps since 2009. This training was a great way to learn about the latest updates to the Google Suite of tools.  Additionally, it made me think about different ways that technology can help solve various teaching issues, save resources, communicate more with parents, and increase student collaboration.

Initially, I thought I’d be able to complete the 13 units for Level 1 in a few months. However, my work, service, and research took priority, and I ended up doing this training a little bit over time. It took me a year! The self-tests are challenging even for a more advanced user like myself.  The exam is performance-based, so make sure you review all the units carefully.

I plan to continue through the training levels to become a certified trainer. I’m a trainer at my College on a wide range of technology and pedagogy, and can’t wait to start sharing what I learned with the faculty and staff.  I’ve already emailed the librarians several tech tips that they might use.  My two biggest takeaways would be the powerful potential of Google Groups (e.g. staff-instructor, trainer-staff, or student-teacher interactions) and the advances that have been made in Google Classroom (too numerous to mention).

I encourage you to check out their Training Center.  The certifying exams are inexpensive (e.g., $10 for Level 1). They provide a certificate and a digital badge. The certification only lasts three years. I think at the current rate of technology advancement that is fair.

Gamer Vs. Educator Semiotic Domains a la J. P. Gee

My Google Apps for Education Blog Posts

This week, I was asked to share my knowledge on Google Drive with colleagues at work.  I figured it was time to resurrect a couple of useful blog posts! Here’s my collection on the various educational uses of Google  apps for education (referred to as #GAFE).

  1. Basic Tech Tools: Google Drive,  Maps, Google+, and Translations (blog)
  2. Create a Google Site from a Gmail Account (video)

  3.  I Love Google Scholar Alerts! (blog)

  4. What are Google Drawings? (infographic)

  5. Google Classroom video tutorial on how to locate the app, create a class, and post an announcement.

Sandra Rogers

I love Google’s Scholar Alerts!

Icon of game consul

If you’re not using Google alert’s yet, you need to sign up to receive them. You can set one up on any topic. I’m using it to keep up-to-date with the latest research on educational gaming. It saves time. Plus, the periodic updates keep me actively reviewing articles.

Here’s an example from my inbox:

Date: Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 12:24 AM
Subject: Scholar Alert – [ “educational gaming” “traditional learning” ]
To: teacherrogers@gmail.com
Scholar Alert: [ “educational gaming” “traditional learning” ]

An Approach to Utilize Ubiquitous Devices for a Game-Based Learning Environment

T Tachino, K Yokota, A Madden – The Journal of Information and Systems in …, 2013
 These data were summarized for the practical design of educational gaming applications played
on smartphones and mobile phones. Smartphone and mobile phone approaches were important
methods in assessing individual performance and during the debriefing phase. 

This Google Scholar Alert is brought to you by Google.


 [Note: That’s not my real gmail address. The email I use for the genral public on the Internet is sandrogers123@yahoo.com. Feel free to contact me.]

Your blogger,

Sandra Rogers

 

Create a Google Site from Gmail Account