Google Keep is a favorite G Suite tool. It is versatile and helps me keep organized as science teacher. Google Keep has so many great uses in the science classroom. For example, I can easily share and collaborate with colleagues from my department or students in the classroom on notes!
Google Keep is a wonderful tool for me personally, but there are many other reasons Google Keep should be available for my students in the classroom. What I love about this tool the most is how it helps my students to stay organized and develop valuable time management skills. This post is going to show seven great ways Google Keep can help students in the science classroom.
What does Google Keep?
Google Keep can be compared to a collection virtual sticky notes. It’s a G Suite-based note-taking app that is free. It is available both on the web and as a mobile application on Android or iOS.
Google Keep has the best part about it. You can create different types notes including audio, text and lists, You can also add reminders to your calendar based on the time or whereabouts. You can also integrate it seamlessly with other G Suite tools.
Google Keep: Getting Started
To get started, visit keep.google.com. Or you can try out Google’s new URLs by typing keep.new directly into your omnibox. Download the Google Keep app if you are using a smartphone. To use this tool, you’ll need a Google Account if you don’t already have one.
Create a New Note
There are a variety of options, depending on whether you are using the Google Keep mobile app or the web-based Google Keep app.
Your options when using a web browser include a regular note or a Note with Checkboxes. A note with a drawing can also be used. You can click on the appropriate option in the menu to get started taking your notes!
Google Keep menu options
With some added features, the options available in the mobile application are identical to those found in the web-based version. Voice notes can be taken in the mobile app, but this is not available on the web-based version. Annotating on images can be done by drawing and annotating.
You can find more great education technology tips on our Podcast. Our podcast shares ideas to help you integrate technology into your classroom.
How to use Google Keep in the Science Classroom
1 – Document A Science Investigation
Google Keep is a fantastic tool to organize your findings in a scientific investigation. Every time we do a lab together, I ask my students for photos and to add them as separate Google Keep notes. Students can also add text observations to accompany their images.
To help them sketch their ideas or experiments, I sometimes let them create their own Google Keep drawings. This works best when you have an Android or iOS mobile application and can use a stylus or a finger.
Google Keep can be used by students to track each step in the scientific procedure. This allows them to share their observations with their lab partner. Google has many collaboration options that make this suite of tools powerful.
2 – Organize A Lab Report
Google Keep is an excellent tool that my students use to organize their ideas when writing lab reports. My students have to create separate notes for each of the important ideas or facts they want to include into their lab reports. To keep track of important sources, students can link images and websites to their notes.
To help my students prepare for writing their lab report, I have made it easy for them to use the side panel in Google Docs to view their Google Keep Notes. What’s great about this method is that they can drag and dropped their Keep notes directly into my lab report.
3 – Grab and Save Whiteboard Nots
My science classroom uses whiteboards a lot. Whiteboards are a great way to promote collaboration and problem-solving. My students typically work in small groups and solve problems together or record their data during investigations.
Students can take a photograph of their learning and save it in Google Keep. A mobile device that has the Keep app installed can allow for a very seamless workflow.
Your students have the option of using “Grab Image Text” to further enhance their workflow. Students can also add labels or tags to their work in order to organize by class or topic.
4 – Manage Complex Science Projects
I always try to find the best way to support my students in science when they are working together on large-scale projects. This is especially important when working on project-based learning (PBL). Google Keep is extremely useful because there are often many small tasks and checkpoints that students must meet.
Google Keep can be used for group projects. I often have my students create their checklists, but sometimes I give them a checklist that is already mine. You can share the notes with all members of your group to allow them to work together on the various tasks. Also, I have the groups share their notes with us so that we can track their progress.
Google Keep is a great tool when used in this fashion. It helps me to be accountable for the group members, and it also helps me manage my time and organize my students.
5 – Create Science Vocabulary Categories
Science is one such subject with lots of technical jargon that can be confusing to grasp and learn. My students have to create Google Keep vocabulary lists to keep track all of the new vocabularies.
I ask students to make a Google Keep for vocabulary notes for each unit. I ask my students to write down any technical terms they find and include their definitions in this note. My students then have the option of changing the color or adding labels to their notes.
I think this is a wonderful use of Google Keep. It’s especially useful for my students with special requirements or for my students who learn English language. It’s also great for my students. It can be easily differentiated by my students because they can choose which terms to include.
6 – Annotate Science Diagrams
I have many diagrams that I use to teach science concepts. Google Keep allows users to draw over images imported into it. It is a great feature!
I encourage students to use images we are currently studying in science. I then have them make annotations on these diagrams. This can be used to label diagrams of human bodies or draw a molecular structures for chemical molecules.
You need the mobile app to annotate an image within Google Keep. Unfortunately, the web-based Google Keep version doesn’t allow you to do this. The mobile app allows students to use a stylus or their finger to draw the image.
7 – Keep track of due dates
Ok, this one may not be science-specific but it can still be very helpful for your students. This is why I added it! Google Keep’s ability to add reminders is a fantastic feature. You can choose to have reminders specific to a date or a particular location.
Google Keep is my favorite tool for keeping track of my students’ due dates. I also use reminders to help them. All of the ideas above can be added with reminders. My students will, for example, add due dates in their lab reports, PBL notes, or checklists.
Separate notes are also created to track test dates and quiz results. This note is where I tell my students to compile a list with all the topics they need in order to create a study schedule.
Give it a go!
These are just a few ideas that I have for using Google Keep to help science students. Have you tried Google Keep with students in science? What is your first idea for a Google Keep project with students? Are there any other ways you have used Google Keep to teach science? Leave us a comment below!