Digital Workflow with Google Drive and Notability

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We are often asked about our digital workflow options and use of paper in Burlington classrooms. While our classrooms are not all paperless, we are certainly using less paper in classroom workflows. This post describes one of the most popular digital workflow options used in our 1:1 classrooms.

We find the most efficient way of distributing assignments to students is via distribution lists. This allows a teacher to send a single email to their entire class, and for students to then open that attachment file directly into their Notability app. Notability is a paid app that we currently provide for all students in grades K-8. The app is highly recommended for high students but it is not required.

First, a student would open the email from the teacher. The email will have an icon for the attachment:

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Tap this icon to initiate the download of the attachment. The icon will then change to the file type of the attachment, in this case a pdf.

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Tap the pdf icon to see the attachment.

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Once inside the attachment, the icon in the upper right hand corner will allow you to open the attachment into another app. In this case, we are going to select Notability.

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Once Notability is chosen, you will have the option of creating a new note from that attachment, or adding it to an existing note. In this case we will create a new note.

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At this point, any work that needs to be done can be started. Notability is a great tool for annotating documents, labeling maps, science labs, and completing equations.

Each student who is going to submit work needs, in their own Google Drive, to create a folder of their own. They should name this folder according to your requirements as a teacher- though we recommend students using their name followed by subject. This folder then needs to be shared only to the teacher. Students can then returns work to a teacher directly in this shared folder.

To create a folder in the Google Drive iPad app, first, press the “+” icon in the upper right corner.

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After pressing the “+” icon, you’ll be presented with a choice of things to create- You’ll want to choose the New Folder option.

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A teacher should choose the way a student names their folder. In this example, the standard being used is a student’s first and last names, followed by the subject area. This process will also help organize your student folders in Drive later.

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After naming the folder, press create.

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You should now have a folder icon in your Drive.  Press the “i” icon by the folder to modify the sharing settings of that folder.

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The student should then add the teacher to the folder by pressing the “+” icon and adding the teacher’s email address. From inside Notability, finished work can now be placed in this shared folder by exporting to Google Drive app and picking this shared folder as the file destination.

Teachers can even take the process a few steps further. Teachers can organize all student folders in their Google Drive by class or block. Teachers can annotate completed student work using Notability and assess student progress. Some BPS teachers are using the audio note feature in Notability for assessment. Teachers can record an audio summary for the student to review. All graded and assessed work can be returned to the student through the shared folder. This helps complete the paperless digital workflow.

 

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