Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Collaboration Tools Part 2: Google Docs

If you are in a district where google products are open sources for everyone, like I am, you will be pleased to find how easy it is to use Google Documents as a way to encourage student (and staff ) collaboration.

In an all staff PD last year, our trainer showed us how easy it is to collaborate with Google, I was already aware of the components and the ease, but I was trying to get some ideas of ways to make it work in my class.

For the library, I was thinking of having google docs be a component for a group chat about books.  We can have a doc for each title that is being read as a team and then the kids and perhaps myself can go online and discuss the book on the site.

For class, the options are endless.   Since google docs lets you track the collaborators, it's a great way to do PBL.  Students can be assigned projects with collaboration and as a teacher, I track the collaboration and who does what.  The students can peer edit, collaborate, do individual parts, plan, write, do it all. The kids could do partner papers, research projects (since presentatiion is also a part of google docs and it can collaborated as well). There is also a chance to integrate other tools into the docs program and use them for projects. There are a lot of options.

The spreadsheet could very easily be used for developing group data collection.  A series of questions could be asked and each student could be assigned a column.  They can go in and add their data and at the end, the information can be mingled together into graphs and charts.

I think with a little experimenting, every teacher out there could find at least one use for google docs.

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