Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Add-Ons Can Save Lives, Or At Least Time

It's been awhile since I've made a post about anything other than Kid President.  It's been a very busy year.  I no longer have to worry about my Master's Degree, but I'm department chair this year and become a site rep for the union.  We also have had a lot of administrative absences for various reasons and a few of us have been picking up some of the slack when we can.

Last week, my Safe School Ambassador "club" hosted an Anti-Bullying Week.  That kept me pretty busy, but that's a kind of busy that is definitely worthwhile.  We got some help from one of the AVID classes and created a "Take What You Need, Give What You Can" board to share

A photo posted by Miss Barron (@missbarronsfhs) on

I'm, as always, behind in my grading.  One thing that helped me so far this year is a Google Doc add-on called JoeZoo.  It's not perfect.  It would be great if you could go from giving grammatical feedback on an assignment, to grading it (using a rubric to give it a grade) instead of having to go back to the start screen.  But, if you use many of the same rubrics for different assignments, it's pretty handy.  I just had to set up my districts narrative rubric once, and now I can use it with multiple assignments.  It saved me a lot of time and it will show the students the areas they need to work on.

It also integrates with your Google Classroom (GC), so you don't need to enter in all your students and assignments.  If you have them in GC, it's there in JoeZoo.  I still suggest edits for mistake students make because the feedback function is not foolproof.

I discovered two new Docs add-ons the other day as well that I'm pretty excited about, though like JoeZoo, they aren't foolproof (apparently, it's nigh on impossible for AIs to identify comma splices).  These two add-ons have similar functions:  proofreading.  One is called GradeProof and the other is Proofread Bot.

GradeProof Screengrab
GradeProof reminds me of Grammarly in function and aesthetic.  I really like it.  It gives statistical information too like how many words, sentences, etc. the paper has.  It also gives a readability score and a "grade level".  The grade level isn't really what most teachers would consider a grade level.  What it is is a number of years it is estimated one would have to be in school in order to underestand the text.  So, my students and I figured out that the higher a readability percentage, the lower the grade level was.

Proofread Bot is interesting in that it explains the error and why it shouldn't be made.  I like that about it because it teaches along with guiding you through corrections that maybe should be made. This tool in particular could assist students in self (and peer) editing. Here's a video to see it in action:

I was a little surprised to hear about the change in name for GAFE to G Suite.  I'm curious how that will affect the Ed Tech world.  For instance, will EdTechTeam rename their GAFESummits?