Here's an example... My students finished a book trailer project last Friday, but because I was out of town for a family wedding, I am just now looking at what was submitted. They are great and I will be posting some of them in the coming days, but for some reason, a few students' projects were not submitted. Additionally, two other students turned in videos that appeared cut short, perhaps due to some network glitch while they were uploading. In the past, if this had been a lab-based project, I would have to decide whether to grade on work I saw done during the process or even to give a zero. Now that our tools have moved to the cloud, this is what I did.
I emailed the parents of each student and wrote that I was missing their child's video. I asked if the child could download the project again from Animoto.com (the video-creation site we used) and resubmit it to me in Google Docs for grading. I sent those messages out on Saturday afternoon. Here's one of the email messages from the parents that struck me the most,
"Riya has sent it to you but apparently something has not been correctly sent to you. We are currently in Italy. I will tell her as soon as she is up in the morning."
Using tools like Google Docs, Schoology, and Edmodo over the past two years has definitely made me feel like the walls of my classroom have lowered and learning can happen at anytime, but this experience has certainly cemented that feeling for me. What could have been a major problem has instead become a small hiccup in my workflow thanks to the cloud.
Now back to grading...