Recently I heard from Dr. Charles Youngs, an English department chair in
Pennsylvania. His school provided the chance for us to work together last August. Charles wrote to me about how he's grappling with the challenge of creating moments of genuine connection (MGCs) amidst the odd conditions of Phase 1‘s emergency remote teaching and learning. Charles has been gracious enough to share the following tweaks with all us:
- A simple Google Forms check-in (below; link to the Form included)
- Tracking MGCs via spreadsheet (below; link to the spreadsheet included)
- Rigging Google Classroom to create an office hours paging system (here; walkthrough video included)
Intro from Charles
In my district we are working with our students mostly asynchronously and so engagement in a pen-pals environment is quite a challenge. Of course, I'm sending out agendas with my photo, video recording my mini-lectures, and so on, all in an effort to make things a bit more personable.
Below are two methods that are streamlining MGCs in Google Classroom.
Google Forms check-in
This is a brief survey for students to let me know how they are doing and allow them to self-reflect.
Here's a link to a DIY kit for making your own version of this form.
Spreadsheet tracking of moments of genuine connection
This is just like Dave's clipboard, but since I'm not walking around I figure I might as well make it digital with the checkboxes data validation feature, right?
Here's a link to create your own copy of this Google Spreadsheet.
The check boxes mean a student is “done” and colors mean I got back in touch with a message and yellow means an item of urgency or concern to follow up.
Charles has also rigged Google Classroom to work as an office hours paging system — it's pretty ingenious. You can see his video walkthrough of that here.