Tuesday, July 20, 2021

One document format to rule them all

When the pandemic hit and schools closed down, I was knocked on my backside pretty hard in many ways.

One thing I found I needed to do—and quickly—was to convert my student curriculum documents into Google Docs format so that I could deploy them in Google Classroom. I had virtually no experience in Google Docs or Google Classroom. And I was facing four preps: Physics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, and Conceptual Physics. A considerable mountain of work loomed.

I'm confident that my colleagues handled the transition better than I did. But I did my best. I transformed many of my documents (Apple Keynote files/PDFs) originally intended for printing and photocopying to Google Docs format for use in distance learning. I leveraged features that made the documents both student and teacher friendly. 

When school morphed again into "hybrid" (which will likely go down in history as the worst model of instruction ever implemented), the Google Docs fell a bit short. Certain elements that made the Google Docs useful for distance learning made them difficult to use for in-person instruction. I could use the old PDFs in-person and the new Google Docs for distance, but multiplying that load by four preps made that unpalatable.

A few modifications made the Google Docs versatile enough to be used successfully for both in-person and distance learning. I refer to these as Print-Friendly Google Docs. One file to rule them all. Precious to me!

In the summer of 2020, I whirled Dervishly to convert my Lessons of Phyz products from PDFs to Google Docs because if I needed Google Docs for remote teaching, so would everyone else. This summer, I am working feverishly to transform those Google Docs to Print-Friendly Google Docs because who knows what's next?

Breakthrough: Ideas that Changed the World, How Earth Made Us, Our Planet, One Strange Rock, and Pandemic are done. Everything else remains in progress or in the queue. 

And at long last, I finished a new product! First real, new item since Pandemic [Netflix series] in March, 2020. I branched out into chemistry with Jim Al-Khalili's BBC series, Chemistry: A Volatile History. I'll probably work on David Pogue's chemistry NOVAs next. This item is the first to be offered as a Google Drive digital download. No PDFs; no Zips. I foresee all my new products being posted to TpT that way.

Digital document evolution. I do not foresee an end to that.

No comments: