8-A-1: Web Applications

My work days consist of teaching, tutoring, meetings, grading, answering emails and phone calls.  My days can fill up very quickly.  On any given school day, I have students contacting me to see when a good time would be to meet with them in the virtual classroom for tutoring.  While I typically have daily tutoring times available, students may not be able to attend those times due to a scheduling conflict.  By the time the student sends me an email and the chain continues to see when we both are available for tutoring, we have wasted a lot of precious time.  Emails can get lost in the mix, too!

One way to save time and help to meet my students’ needs is by using a Google Doc’s spreadsheet for student “contact” sign-ups.  As the teacher I can create a scheduling spreadsheet.  I can block off dates and times that I know I will be unable to help students.  Students can then view the document and add their name, what he or she needs help with, and contact preference.

A sample spreadsheet could look like this…

Monday, July 21, 2014
Tutoring or Teacher Contact Sign Ups

TIME AVAILABILITY Please help me with… Please contact me by…
8 AM – 8:30 AM      Bob Jones Solving Equations

Phone

8:30 AM – 9 AM      Anna Smith Exponents

Virtual Classroom

9 AM – 9:30 AM

 N/A

N/A

 N/A

The schedule can continue throughout the day and week.  The key would be for the teacher to continually monitor the spreadsheet.  To help keep track of changes, the teacher could have an email sent after any updates so the teacher can view cancelled or added appointments.

This app can also be used for students to sign up for peer tutoring or parent for a conference with the teacher.  The teacher can secure the app and prevent others outside the classroom for viewing and changing the document, too.  For peer tutoring, students could sign up to be a tutor during a certain day and time or to receive help similar to the manner used for tutoring with the teacher.  The teacher can also use the spreadsheet to keep track of who is helping others, those that need extra help, and when to open the virtual classroom for students to meet.  For parent-teacher conferences, the parents or guardians can also use this same set up to request a conference with the teacher.  This way efficiently helps to pick a date and time that both parties are available.

By using an app such as Google Doc’s spreadsheets, this will help the entire class run more efficiently and therefor promotes student learning and understanding.  In my experience, staying organized and up to date supports a successful classroom.

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4 thoughts on “8-A-1: Web Applications

  1. Hi Brittany,
    I did not know that Google Spreadsheet had this neat calendar feature! This is a great way to inform students of a time that they may take advantage of to get some help. I also like the idea that this calendar could be used for communication between: 1.) you and students, 2.) you and parents, and 3.) students with other students (peer tutoring).

    I definitely agree that this having an online calendar would not only help organize your classroom, it would also save a lot of time in trying to figure out when two parties would be available to meet.
    In addition, by using this type of calendar to offer students time to get help (one that is posted for everyone to see and take advantage of available time), students will most likely take responsibility for their actions and their work. In essence, students know that you ARE available – and there is not excuse (such as “the teacher could never me with me after class”) for arranging a time to get help.
    Great Application!
    Tiffany

  2. What a fabulous idea! I currently use Outlook for scheduling “my life”. It would be nice to have a separate scheduling calendar for students and parents. Daily workshops could run smoother when I am helping students if they are given some specific times to schedule peer and or teacher revision and editing sessions.

  3. Staying organized and up to date is essential for an effective classroom. Google docs is a wonderful tool to help with this. I can see how this could be a valuable asset!

  4. I immediately thought of parent teacher conferences. At the elementary level EVERY parent requests a conference. It sometimes takes several discussions before we agree upon a date and time, and then sometimes the parents don’t show up. This would be a super easy way for parents to see the available time slots that are options for them to schedule. Scheduling all of the conferences is always the worst! This would surely make it a lot easier and more organized.
    Jessica Schaffer

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