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TTA Class Goes Googly

Students in Mrs. Oprea’s class have been integrating their Chromebooks by using their Google drive to share pictures, activities, and even author their very own “Google book”. In collaboration with Donna Helms, media coordinator, students began using their Google drives during a science lesson on why leaves change colors, and they most recently authored a Thanksgiving digital book using a Google presentation.

The new Chromebooks have presented students with diverse options for integrating technology and sharing lesson plan files with students. Mrs. Oprea is the teacher of the Transition to Adulthood class that is part of the Exceptional Children program at Piedmont.  Her class was recently studying scientists, and it provided a teachable moment to introduce students to their Google drives. Students watched a digital storybook entitled “Leafy, the Leaf Who Wouldn’t Leave” and then played interactive games related to leaves. Since all the activities were shared with the class using their personal Google drives, they were all able to continue with the interactive activities in the subsequent days to reinforce the concepts presented in the lesson. According to Mrs. Oprea, “It was great to learn how to incorporate their Google drives in my class, and I plan to share many more files with them to save time and paper.”

To further integrate literacy into the curriculum, Mrs. Oprea’s class helped author a digital book using Google presentation entitled “Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks.” Each student in the class authored their own page by describing themselves and selecting and inserting a picture that illustrated something they were thankful for. Because the Google presentation was a “real-time” experience, students watched on their Chromebook as the book was created. Furthermore, everyone was surprised to learn that searching Google images for Mr. Capers, an EC assistant whom a student was thankful for, actually resulted in finding a real-life portrait of him.  One of the best features of using the Google drive with students is that parents can see the digital book that was created and enjoy the creative efforts of each student in the class. As one parent noted, "It’s nice to be able to know what is happening in school.” Subsequently, another parent from Mrs. Oprea’s class stated, “As a parent of a child with special needs, it’s impressive that Mrs. Helms takes her time to work the kids in Mrs. Oprea’s class.”

Integrating the Chromebook into the instructional program can be done in creative ways for students of all levels, and Mrs. Helms has shown the class how to use their Google drive, and the students are simply “Googly” over this new skill!

Written by: Marianna Oprea, Transition to Adulthood Teacher
Posted: Nov 26, 2013 by Donna Helms

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