This post was written by Simon Bradbury @PeBrado.
Over the past year I have been encouraged by colleagues such as Jon Neale (@JNealeUK) and Adam Llevo (@MrAdamPE) to start using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) within my teaching practice. I can definitely say that it has helped me work more efficiently and in this blog I thought I would share with you some of the ways that I use GAFE within my GCSE PE lessons and with my students.
Google’s version of Powerpoint but the beauty of using GAFE is that you can share and edit documents with colleagues in your school, county, country and worldwide. We have two year 10 GCSE PE classes at my school, I teach one and a less experienced teacher teaches the other. We have the same amount of theory lessons a week so if it is a lesson where I would create a powerpoint I now do this using Google Slides. My theory lesson is taught first and I then share the Google Slide with my colleague who can edit it to her students needs. She can make a copy and edit it also if she wants to spend more time on the lesson. This stops storing large powerpoint documents on the school network or me emailing her a large document every time and blocking up her inbox.
This is a great add on in Google Docs (Google’s version of Word) that I use with my students for the scenario questions. My year 10’s recently had their mock examination, so prior to the examination I gave them the scenario from a few years ago based on Tyrone. As we discussed the scenario I typed their responses on a bullet point list in a Google Doc. I then highlighted all of their bullet points and Mind Meister then creates this into an eye catching spider diagram, which is great for revision as you can then print off or send to the students to put in their books or folders.
Google Sheets and Autocrat
Google’s version of Excel is great for data and I use the add on Autocrat a lot after my students have completed a progress test. I input the data (mark) into the google sheet for each question for each student. Each mark can be given a colour for example if a student gets 4/4 in a question that would go green but 0/4 that would go red. I then create a Google Doc with << >> so that it can recognise the data from the Google Sheet. It then creates a very visual document for each of my students highlighting which questions they scored well on but more importantly the areas and questions that they did not do so well on. This is great for students in terms of seeing what their areas for improvement are and it is a great document to show to parents at parents evenings. I also use the Autocrat add on to send praise postcards home and inform parents of the winner of the GCSE PE League (see previous blog). The great thing is this can all be done from my phone, which obviously saves time and allows me to do it there and then while fresh in my mind.
In a previous blog I talked about how I created top trumps cards to assist with the teaching of the components of fitness. I created them using Google Drawings, which allows users to create documents such as flowcharts, organisational charts and mind maps. Again, very simple to use and can be used for a number of different things.
I am using Google Forms more and more in my everyday teaching as they are a great way of collecting data and information. Once the form is set up it then collates all the information for you every time a response is submitted. As we come to the end of the academic year you may want to use a Google Form to get feedback from students on their experience of the course (particularly relevant for year 11). With my year 10 class I will be creating a form asking them what they feel their best 4 sports are. I will then use this data to come up with targets for them e.g. if a student has picked basketball as one of their four sports but has not turned up to basketball club once or plays for a team outside of school my target for them would be to attend basketball club on a regular basis, join the school team or a team outside of school. The data from the Google Form can be collected straight onto Google Sheet without you having to input it.
Orange Slice is a grading add on within Google Docs that allows both you and the student or their peers to grade their performance. I often use this at the end of a sport and send students the grading criteria for Key Process A and Key Process B in that sport with grades 0-10 and students then give themselves a grade for both Key Process A and Key Process B out of 10 in that sport. I would then give my grades and the student can then see what grade they are at for that sport and what they need to improve on. The student grade is highlighted in one colour and the teacher grade in a different colour so it is easy to see any alarming differences.
I would encourage teachers to have a look at GAFE during the final half term of the academic year as it is great for collaborating with teachers in your department as well as sharing information with students about their progress. Obviously this post is how I use it within my GCSE PE lessons but I use it with all aspects of my teaching from organising athletics squads to getting nominations in for upcoming sports presentation evening. Once you have a play around with GAFE I guarantee you will find yourself working far more efficiently and effectively.
As always I would love to hear how PE teachers are using GAFE as there are so many add ons that you can choose from that are relevant to education.