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Learning in the 21st century classroom


“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.”
— Bill Gates

In this class, technology is incorporated into almost everything we do every day. Students will become very familiar with the following :

  • PowerSchool

  • Google Classroom

  • Google Drive

  • Google Slides

  • Google Docs

  • Google Chrome

  • Google Forms

  • Google Sheets

  • Online graph generators

  • Online simulations


PowerSchool is the district's way of recording and communicating grades for students and families.  In this class, it is also used as a means of communicating feedback on each assignment.  Always check the comments (by clicking on the assignment score) to see why a score was earned.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is the main method for pushing things out to students.  Assignments are assigned and collected through Classroom, and any information needed comes through Classroom as well.  This is also a means for students to communicate with the teacher about their work.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows students to store files online.  This gives them the ability to work on assignments from any device.  Many students will download this app to their phone or tablet to be able to access their work anywhere.

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Google Slides

Google Slides is similar to Power Point and can be used to make presentations.  In my class, it is used as an online notebook.  Students used different colored pages to organize their notes, pictures, data, and all other things that would normally go in a student's notebook.  In the 21st century classroom, moving to an online notebook is essential.

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Google Docs

Google Docs is an online word processing app.  It is accessible on any computer or mobile device, and documents can be shared by students and teacher.  This allows students to write essays as individuals or in group collaboration, whether in the classroom or at home, or even in the car.

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Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the web browser students use to access the internet at school.  They will access articles, videos, simulators, and all of the Google Apps through Chrome. At school, Chrome is filtered to be sure that students don't have access to content the district deems inappropriate. Students use district username and password to gain access.  

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Google Forms

Google Forms is used as a means of assessing students' understanding. Some of our tests and quizzes will be done through Google Forms.  It also will be used for collecting data through surveys and allows students to evaluate the teacher and each other when appropriate.  This app is not available on phones or tablets.

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Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet app, allowing students to organize and manipulate data. Results of experiments are recorded in Sheets, then analyzed for patterns and trends.  Statistics can be easily calculated to determine relationships between variables.

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Create a Graph

Create a Graph allows students to enter data found in research or classroom activities and create a visual representation, making it easier to find patterns and trends.  These graphs can then be transferred into their notebook to be used as evidence to form arguments or answer questions.


Gizmos is a website that has some incredibly useful simulations.  It allows students to manipulate variables that might be impossible in the classroom, such as changing the force of gravity, the amount of friction, or extreme changes in temperature.  Students can then use this data to find patterns that will show the relationships between variables.

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Phet simulations

Like Gizmos, Phet simulations allow students to experiment in ways that would be impossible in the classroom.  Phet simulations are free and can be used by anyone, while Gizmos require a subscription.  The subscription is paid for by the school.  Some simulations can be accessed with phones and tablets, while others require a computer.

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