How the biology teachers at Rocklin High School used Quip

By Josh Weinstein

Shannon Jimenez is a biology teacher at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, CA. We asked Shannon about her experience with using Quip.

Tell me about the project you were working on.

As a department, we realized that, in order to align our biology curriculum with the new Next Generation Science Standards and better integrate cross-curricular skills in our classrooms, we were going to have to throw out most of what we had been doing and build a new year-long curriculum from the ground up.

How did you write a curriculum before using Quip? How did using Quip change your process?

Though we were excited about the possibilities of creating the new curriculum, we weren't sure how we were going to be able to actually get the job done. Without Quip, we would have created a Google doc and discussed the curriculum via email and in-person meetings. But email can get buried in an inbox very quickly, and between teaching, coaching, and attending conferences, it was next to impossible to find the time to meet face-to-face. Quip gave us a way of creating the document together and discussing issues and ideas on our own time, without having to cross reference comments between emails and the document or keep track of notes from a meeting.

What were the most useful features of Quip?

Because we were writing the curriculum to align to the new national standards, we used quite a few screenshots from a PDF of the standards in the document. We appreciated how intuitively Quip handled images and how easy it was to move them around.

Also, since three of us were working on the document at different times, it was great to be able to see, for example, what my colleagues had worked on over the weekend without having to examine the entire document, and then be able to comment on those changes.

How did Quip make the process easier?

The best thing about Quip is the integration between document and conversation. It really made collaborating remotely a thousand times easier and more enjoyable. My colleagues were excited about it because, in a way, it filled a need they didn't know they had. The freedom from piles of disjointed email threads and inconvenient meetings was awesome.

What other projects might you use Quip for in the future?

I can see using Quip in the classroom. For example, if a student shared a lab report with me, I would be able to provide my comments and see their edits as they created a final draft. It would be a great way to provide personalized feedback.