Scream for HELP? Or “Google It?”

Leah Bruosta, fifth grade teacher here and I.NEED.HELP! What happens when I need help with technology in my classroom? To whom do I turn? Well…. the easy answer as one of the “technology” favoring teachers is to “Google it.”  I Google it, then I ask someone who might know, then I forget about it for a while, and then reengage in the puzzle.  PS – When did “Google” become a verb? Because it is one, and I rarely use it in the noun form anyway…
Definition of Google: Merriam Webster
Merriam Webster suggests that to google is a verb! Hallelujah!


I have been wanting to ask students to do more and more pre-writing digitally.  Their writing lacks organization and this used to be a larger part of our practice in fifth grade. My research question this year revolves around writing engagement when technology is utilized.  So far, I am impressed with their speed and skills with word processing, and have noticed that they are in need of organization.  “Googling it” didn’t render me with the answers that I hoped for.  I wasn’t able to find “editable graphic organizers” or “lock tables” so that students would be able to edit — I even had a hard time explaining to colleagues what it was that I wanted.  I could make a PDF form (I think I know what that is!???) and have students edit it — good idea, but it didn’t work when I “made a copy” for each student on Google Classroom.  With some fancy saving strategies and trying to skirt the issue, it was figured out- but how do I explain this twenty-seven step, nonsensical strategy to students? Nothing was as simple as I had hoped.  So I kept asking around.  And I think I have hit on something today.  Our technology specialist attended a professional development course wherein she designed just this type of graphic organizer that students can manipulate.  And would you believe it, it fulfilled her requirement for Special Education PDPs!? Next step: check out this class!


Digital graphic organizer created using Google Drawings and shared with students via Google Classrooms.

It’s at this point that I know what I don’t know.  I have more questions than when I began and now I have a place where I plan to ask them —  and a format on which to practice.  Google Drawings… helping kids with writing? We’ll see! 

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