Thursday, January 8, 2015

eLearning Days: The Basics

During the 2013-2014 school year, many days were missed due to dangerous road conditions during the numerous blasts of snow we had in Noble County, Indiana. An advantage of being a 1:1 technology school district is that the state allows for eLearning days where teachers can assign materials for students to study throughout the day. This works great and all, but one of the issues we frequently have is having offline access to the content for our students without Internet access.

One solution (that is free) is to use Google Drive. In this blog post, I'm organizing materials specifically for East Noble School corporation teachers so that they can use Drive to more efficiently distribute eLearning content (videos, pictures, or documents) and allow for offline use. This is just the basics for the distribution and access of those items for eLearning as there are many other ways that Google Drive can be of great use to every teacher.

Before we get too far into the business of setting up Google Drive folders for eLearning, students first need to know how to log into Google Drive. Here are directions for both the iPad app and Google Chrome on a Windows 8.1 PC:


Now you need to know how to setup a folder in Google Drive and share it with students so that they can access the content quickly. As you share this folder, it would be wise to set it to "view only" so that students do not actually remove or manipulate the documents within it. They can still download the content for their own use without compromising the existing files. (Click here if you are not certain how to access your organization's Google account.)


After you distribute your eLearning content into a Google Drive folder, your students are going to need to know how to access it. In the following video, students will learn how to find their files in the "incoming" tab, locate the content, and "keep on device" for offline use on an iOS device. 


For students using a PC or Mac computer, Google Drive can streamline the process as well. One problem teachers frequently have is by emailing content or using a LMS (learning management system), the students have to make sure that each piece of content has been downloaded. This can be an issue if students have multiple eLearning days to complete and have quite a few items to download to their device. We frequently have students that have missed a file here and there. Google Drive streamlines the process because the students can download the entire folder in one download.



The last bit of concern in regards to eLearning basics would be communication with parents. Here are directions that you can send home with students so that parents know where to find the content on an iPad and online. Feel free to download and manipulate the content to meet your needs:

iPad eLearning Material Directions