This year I have decided to try going paperless with my labs and lab reports through the use of Google classroom. I created a lab data form using google forms (basically an online lab notebook) for students to submit their pre lab and data. Once submitted, I post a link to the results from the entire class so that students have acces to their data. My school doesn't allow email access otherwise you can enable the feature "email responses" so students would receive a copy of those responses as soon as they submitted the form. The lab analysis/conclusion is done via a Google doc. Using Google classroom, I send a copy to each student. This part of the lab is due 1 week from the lab date. The third and final item I post on Google classroom is a view only copy of the lab procedures so that the entire process is paperless. After 6 months of using this format I have found that the number of successfully completed labs has increased by 15% from the prior year. The other aspect that I like is the ability to make comments on their conclusions which are visible to the student so that they can learn from those mistakes before they get to the final assessment. I also save a lot of time because I no longer need to file lab reports for the state requirement as they are stored in digital folders in my google drive.
For the last 3 weeks I have been using a website called Nearpod in my classroom to deliver questions to students in real time. In the past I used student response systems (clickers) but this year I am piloting a 1:1 classroom using chrome books, so I started looking into web based programs that performed the same tasks. I found there are many options available (kahoot, Socrative, Exit Ticket etc.) but the program I decided to use full time in my classroom is Nearpod. There is a free version or upgrade to a paid version (you can get a 6 month free trial paid version) so I opted to try out the paid version because of the increase in storage space. Since I already use EDpuzzle to deliver my instructional content at home, I strictly use this website for in class instruction. What I like about the product is that you can post various types of questions to students and push them out via google classroom to each computer. One of the best features is the ability to draw on the screen in order to answer the question. Of course this would be easier on an iPad but I found simple tasks like circling or highlighting portions of a graph can easily be done on a chromebook and student loved this feature. There is a mobile app for those that employ BYOD in the classroom which will also allow you to easily draw on the screen. Another feature that I liked was the ability to share out a particular student's correct answer to the class. All of the assessment results are stored on the website and easily downloaded in multiple formats. My dislikes about the website is that they do not have a folder option for your activities so it can get a bit messy on the teacher end. They have a search feature so you can easily search for a title or subject and you can organize by date but having the ability to put the content into folders for each unit would be a great addition to the site.
I have been using EDpuzzle for the past 2 years to deliver the instructional content to my students and I can honestly say it has elevated my flipped classroom to the next level. Prior to EDpuzzle, I posted my video content on my website and or youtube but I had no way to check if students actually watched the video for hw. I then added a google form for students to summarize the video but I still lacked the assessment piece for students to gauge their understanding of the content as well keep them engaged in the lesson. EDpuzzle has done both and more. Student engagement in the lessons have gone up (I have collected data via surveys before and after using EDpuzzle), they are coming to class with a better understanding of the lesson, and most importantly it provides me the ability to assess what part of the lesson students are struggling with so that I can focus on that concept the next day in class. The website and their IOS app are extremely reliable and their support staff is top notch if you have any difficulties. This has become the most important assessment tool I use in the battle to educate and engage even the most reluctant adolescent student. If you flip your classroom or use video in any way in your instruction then you must check out this amazing site.