Thursday, September 5, 2013

New School Year, New Attitude 新学年,新姿态

Every year, at the beginning of the school year, it feels like a huge scramble.  The teacher scrambles to get materials ready.  Students scramble to get their minds back from the beach.  Under these circumstances, creating a system that helps everybody, students and the teacher alike, collect and organize work becomes a big challenge.  If you find a good system and a nice tool, it will save you a ton of time and keep you sane.

I believe that I mentioned using Google Site as students' portfolio before.  I want to restate how much I admire this tool.  Google has built a variety of tools that are simple and easy to get your hands on, Google Voice, Blogger, Google Drive, Google Doc, and so on.  Google Site is an excellent place to tie all these things together.

Basically, students will build a site for themselves.  They can create separate pages for each lesson or unit or subjects.  They only have to go through two simple steps to start

Step 1: Get on Gmail (students' school email accounts can be linked or set up as Gmail accounts), click More, or Even More, find Site (within category: Home & Office).  Click it then click Create.
It will lead to this page.  Choose a name for the site, and of course, you can choose different template.  Then Create. Tada! Site created!
Step 2: Click your page. You will see the following image.  Click the icon New Page, which is next to the icon Edit Page, a big pencil. After you click on that, it will go to some place similar to where you create the site.  When you Select a Location for your new page, choose Put Under Home.  Name the page, for example Lesson One: Summer Break.  Done!  On the right corner, there is a blue button, called Share.  You can share your site (perhaps, your course site) with your students and your students can share their sites (mainly their e-portfolio) with you.  

After you create the site and pages within the site.  You can edit page, clicking the pencil icon, Edit Page.  Basically you can type in the texts you want to appear on that pages, changing size, font, and color of the texts and other usual editing you can do. 

At the bottom of the page, you can add files and leave comment.  For students, their finished assignment can be added to the page and stay there.  These files can be visual, audio, video, and etc.  The teacher can leave a Comment (at the bottom of the page) to students work.  If people share sites with you, you will be able to leave comments on their pages.  

Google Site, now, becomes a place you collect students' work and give them instant, individualized feedback.  More importantly, students themselves have this awesome collection of work in hand.




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