I’ll admit it. I’m a conscientious objector to the internet. Which is weird given how much I love video games and other tech but somehow learning to use different internet services is just aggravating to me. When we had to do an assignment teaching different apps that might be helpful to teachers to each other, I was not excited. However, I learned a lot about having to fit a lot of information into a small amount of space.
Making a one page (double-sided) handout describing how to use Google Drive is not as easy as it sounds. Not because Google Drive is hard to use: just the opposite. It’s really easy but there’s not a lot of space on a single page of paper, especially if you’re using screenshots. I still chose to use the screenshots despite the limited space because only using text just wouldn’t convey what to click. I think I would actually have wasted more space trying to describe in detail where buttons are than just using the screenshot. Or, I would have left my students without really giving them the information they needed. So I showed the basics of how to use the site then listed some of the more specialized features and gave them the link to tutorials if they decided they wanted to go further.
Also, I taught the” class” by sharing the handout itself and then sharing, modifying, etc. with the group. This way, I could give them more details in person but they could use the handout as a guide later. Plus, they were practicing all the skills as I taught them.
I think the take away from all of this is that you can only give students so much information at once, so choose that information wisely. Also, combine formats of information to be able to reinforce the skills being passed on and to make sure students are following. Finally, let students try new things out as they learn them (see, I’m learning from those great video game tutorials). That way, they remember it better and you know they can successfully use the skill.