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New Online Google Apps for Education Tools to help writing teachers

Colleagues who use technology in teaching writing,

This EdSurge article may be of interest. It's about a new project, one of the 13 highest-rated applications in an annual federal grant competition, A New Vision to Personalize Writing Instruction. "The project will test whether Google Apps for Education and supported extension tools can help teachers create, distribute and provide feedback on writing assignments more efficiently—and whether these workflow improvements have any measurable impact on students’ writing abilities."

In 2012 Andrew Stillman, Director of Systems Development, and his team at New Visions, released the free app, Doctopus, "a Google Drive extension that helps teachers manage class rosters in a Google Sheet and assign different files to different groups of students. Teachers can keep track of students’ work progress and manage editing privileges."

"A year later, Stillman released another [free] extension, Goobric, that allows teachers to create rubrics, grade assignments and leave text and audio feedback; the grades automatically get recorded in a Google Sheet." The rubrics and audio feedback to students might be especially appealing to adult education teachers who are looking for more efficient ways to assess and give feedback on writing.

For those who already use (free) Google Apps for Education to help students with writing practice, this project -- and these already available apps -- may be of interest. For others who teach writing and whose students have access to the Internet, getting professional development in how to use google education apps, and perhaps the free Google Classroom suite, would be helpful. One free online source of professional development in using technology for you, and your students is GCF Learn Free In this context, their Using the Cloud self-paced instructional modules may be a place to begin.

For those who are Google Education Apps mavens, what other free online professional development would you recommend to teachers who are new to using Google Apps, especially for teaching writing?

Heads up -- the World Education EdTech Center is offering a free webinar on formative assessment, December 10th, in which adult basic skills practitioners and professional developers, Christopher Bourret and Ed Latham, will review some other online formative assessment apps. For more information, including how to register, see below.


Improving Teaching Using Technology for Formative Assessment

Systematic formative assessment makes a difference in how well students learn.  Find out how you can improve teaching and learning by hearing what formative assessment is and the research upon which it is based.  Learn how technology tools can improve learning outcomes by providing learning progress information to teachers and to students. A panel of adult educators will share how to implement online and mobile assessment tools into the classroom.  See how these tools can be adapted and added to your teaching toolbox.

Date:  Thursday, December 10, 2015, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm
Presenters:  Christopher Bourret,  Ed Latham, Dr. Susan Finn Miller,  Dr. David Rosen
Hosts: Ben Bruno and Steve Quann, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, a project of World Education
Pre-webinar assignment:   TEAL Center Fact Sheet: Formative Assessment
Register now!


David J. Rosen

Moderator, Technology and Learning CoP



Leecy's picture
One hundred

David, what fantastic resources you are sharing. In reviewing "A New Vision to Personalize Writing Instruction," which you posted, it sounds like DoctopusGoobric and similar tools will, indeed, "help teachers create, distribute and provide feedback on writing assignments more efficiently—and whether these workflow improvements have any measurable impact on students’ writing abilities." Providing all students with meaningful and ready writing feedback can be a challenge. What a gift those sites can be, especially around the holidays!  I am enjoying exploring those resources and any additional ones that you and others can share here. Thanks! Leecy