Thursday, March 14, 2013

1:1 Digital Workflow

The most frequently asked professional development question from educators embarking on a 1:1 adventure is, "How do I handle assignment workflow in a digital environment?As many teachers have discovered, this is not a one step, single-app process. However, here is how it can be done on the iPad by connecting the following applications; Google Drive, Notability, and Schoology.

** I recommend that the teacher create an instructor account, a test student account, and if applicable, a test parent account to check the workflow process, as well as, experience what the students will encounter during your workflow process.
  1. Each student needs to create an email address for creating app accounts and for backup communication. (Google / Gmail)
  2. The instructor needs to create a cloud-based repository for class documents and files. Students will need to create an account with the same service in order to access learning materials. Working, or collaborative, documents can be shared and modified as Google Docs. However, final copies to be used in other apps should be saved as PDF files. Student Gmail addresses are needed to create file/folder sharing in most cloud storage services. (Google Drive)
  3. Each student and teacher needs a web connected device. (Apple iPad) In this case, each user will need to create an Apple ID using the previously created email address.  Be sure to walk through the set up process together. Make certain your students enable "Find My iPad", and "iCloud sync / backup".
  4. Depending on learning level and classroom practice, I recommend a note-taking / annotating app (Notability) ($2.99) for the iPad that syncs with your cloud service (Google Drive) and your LMS product (Schoology).
  5. I highly recommend that teachers utilize a classroom LMS (learning management system) product that serves as the communication, information, organizational hub for the class, as well as, the tool that enables a completely reciprocal work flow solution (Schoology). Both +Google Drive and +Schoology have iOS apps (FREE) that have been updated and greatly improved during the past year. The browser version of Schoology offers the most functionality, and works like a charm in Chrome. **Schoology officials have announced a significant update to their iOS and web apps.  This update will include an improved annotating feature that will support a complete digital workflow from within the app! If all goes as promised, this will eliminated the need for Google Drive and Notability. Look for these Schoology updates early this summer.
The following short videos illustrate the processes of distributing, collecting, grading, and returning assignments in a 1:1 iPad learning environment using Google, Notability, and Schoology. Ten minutes with these videos will give you a good understanding of how to set up your digital workflow process.







More information

Creating Assignments in Schoology - One minute video

Grading Assignments in Schoology - One minute video

 How to complete an assignment in Schoology / Student View - Two minute video

Favorite 1:1 iPad resources

There are other excellent applications (Dropbox, GoodReader, Edmodo) that can be substituted for the products described here. However, this is the iPad workflow solution that nearly all of our 1:1 teachers and students prefer, primarily because of the efficient workflow capabilities, and the ease of use. For consistency in training and implementation, this is the workflow process that we will encourage and support as our 1:1 iPad program expands. As the learning evolves and becomes more transformational, the reliance on this process will decrease. 

In addition to promoting connected, personalized learning, this digital workflow process also conserves natural and financial resources by committing to paperless instruction. Two final bits of advice, start simply and methodically as to not overwhelm yourself or your students, and strive to make the technology transparent, yet supportive of your students' learning.

  • How does your digital workflow differ from the one shared here?  
  • How can this process be improved?
  • What's the biggest technical challenge that you and your 1:1 students face?  


I hope that you found this post to be helpful. I welcome your suggestions and comments.

2 comments:

Jarod Bormann said...

This post is exactly what I needed! I love Notability and use it often, especially for the record feature so I can leave verbal feedback on student work. However, there are two main ways presented to store the students work (or use as the dropbox). Based on your experience, is it easier to set up a Google folder like the one presented above and use that separate from Schoology, or is it easier to keep everything in Schoology and use that dropbox? I have used Edmodo for the last few years but have grown frustrated with some of the features as we are 1:1 with iPads. I will be switching to Schoology this fall. I believe most of my students use Pages and Notability to type their assignments or create their projects, so I'm thinking using the the Google folder may not be the best method, but I could be wrong.

Robert Schuetz said...

Hello Jarod. Thank you for your comment and questions. Our teachers prefer to share documents through Schoology's resource folders. Our students still use Google Drive for collaborative docs. Workflow is completed through either Schoology assignments or submitting via a Google Form. I hope this helps and that your Schoology experience is going well. Happy New Year, Bob