So, let’s consider some uses of one of the most commonly applied EdTech Tools: Google’s Apps or “G Suite.” G Suite has become a go-to within schools for a number of reasons, including its price (free), versatility and ease of use of productivity tools such as Docs and Slides, word processing and presentation creators, respectively.
Additionally, G Suite is easily used on inexpensive Chromebook computers, which allow schools to put technology in a wide range of hands across the day. Chromebooks are easy to manage and essentially only run a Chrome web browser, making them a good match for use with the web-based G Suite.
SLPs and literacy interventionists may see G Suite as too basic to consider for storytelling and narrative language opportunities. However, the opportunities to use images, drawings, and other visual supports are varied, easy to use, and worth considering—particularly when seeking to implement MindWing’s methodologies such as Story Grammar Marker® and ThemeMaker® within classroom settings, G Suite features will make it easy for students to apply what they are learning about narrative and expository language!
As shown in the above example, icons can be created by using the Drawing tool (Insert>Drawing) and either the Scribble (as in the Topic Icon) or Polyline (as in the List Icons) tool, which allows for color fill, and in either case can be copied/pasted so as to not be drawn more than once. Students could be guided from the map creation to writing a short paragraph within the same Doc. Alternately, before leading a lesson, a template with icons could be created and shared with students through Google Classroom.
One key to the usefulness of Slides is the ease of making narrative or expository language visual with the use of the Explore tool (Tools>Explore). Just enter a search term and click Images and any resulting photo can be added to your slide. Additionally, we can make our creations colorful (right-click on the blank slide to change background) and add text boxes to let our stories unfold or display Lists, Sequences, Cause-Effect relationships, descriptions, and so on… For more ideas on how to use Google Slides, check out this presentation. Tutorials for any G Suite tool are also widely available on YouTube for further learning.