Break-out rooms? There's an app for that.

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Break-out rooms? There's an app for that.

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Author :
David Howe

Zoom break-out rooms are a go-to option for student-student interaction in online courses. When I think about break-out rooms, the image I see commonly displays a blue 'Share' button in the upper right, this is how accustomed I have become to seeing Google Apps along with Zoom. Works great, facilitates interaction, leaves an artefact that can be used to assess understanding. As time went by, we got better at it. Instead of hearing 'I forgot what group I was in', groups would have names. We even used 'come up with a group name' as a get-to-know each other activity. We learned that having a single document shared by all worked for some situations, but we could also make group folders for holding supporting documents and individualized instructions. We could control access or have students share from their own Google Drives.

My next break-through for break-outs: Google Forms. So glad I saw that demonstrated. The report-out instructions could be right in the form, and could include images and video. Forms could be copied or questions imported, thus saving time. And responses all went neatly into columns and rows on a Sheet, which could be converted to a Doc if we that made reviewing easier.

I only recently opened the door into the big candy shop of Google App joy, and it wasn't for work. My child is taking piano lessons onlineIn person, the teacher would annotate his book to adjust a phrase for exercise purposes or to transpose the key. Online, the teacher was relying on my son to record the changesThat didn't happen. But the boy had a suggestion for the teacher: use a Google doc with musical notation. This was new to us, but sure enough, in the Chrome Web Store we found an add-on called 'Flat'. (Not a very enticing name, but 'Sharp' is taken.)  Flat is a blast and fun way to learn. In addition to musical notation, it can make guitar and ukulele tabs so we can quickly try the music on other instruments, and we can have a group play togetherWhile I was in the Store, I also grabbed an add-on called MathType, which we could use for math and chemistry but for some reason we just haven't got to that. 

Something else that is cool: Microsoft Edge accepts Chrome add-ons, because both browsers are built in Chromiumdon't want to give up Edge: I love being able to search the MSU cloud from my browser. If you haven't tried that, just use Bing in Edge, and check out the results under the 'WORK' heading. It will even take you to your Teams chatsAmazing. 

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David Vaun Howe #iteachmsu
#zoom #google #readiness #readinessweek