Monday, December 13, 2010

Docs 2

In my most recent post on the word processor portion of Google Docs, I introduced how to set up a Google Docs document, and some of the features. Today, I'd like to brainstorm some other ways that students and teachers could use the word processor document, even telecollaboratively.

Since Google Docs has taken some (maybe most) of the need for face to face interaction, teachers can collaborate with teachers, students with students, and students with teachers. We have recently been using Google Docs with the National Honor Society at my school. The NHS secretaries and I have been collaborating by making a variety of different absence notes for students. One of these notes it to permit students late to sports practices and other after school activities when there are mandatory NHS meetings after school. Although this seems like such a basic idea, we did not have time to meet face to face, it was her responsibility to type of the majority of the note, and I needed to edit it to remove teenager slang and superfluous words!

Other examples of how students could use the Google Docs word processor are...
  • to write a composition/research paper/essay collaboratively (group work, not cheating!)
  • to create a book report, both sharing the role of citing the text for support
  • to design a flier/pamphlet for a variety of content areas or even for clubs/sports
  • to collect ideas and brainstorm for a future project
Some examples of how teachers could use the Google Docs word processor are...
  • to create online rubrics to share with their students
  • to collaborate/design worksheets or extra practice with colleagues for the students
  • to prepare handouts or guided notes with students
  • to design a newsletter to share with parents and students about happenings in the classroom and the school
All of these examples could also be used telecollaboratively. Teachers and students in classrooms and homes with Internet access can now easily work on the same documents, at the same time, with all of the changes online. The great part about the students working collaboratively is that the teacher could be added as a viewer/editor for each of the documents so that it would be easy to view, grade, and make comments.

One of my favorite features of this type of Google Doc is that you can see the entire revision history. For example, if Student A makes a revision to a paper that is incorrect, Student B can go back to the revision history and see the original writing. Edits can easily be made, and it is also easy to see who has written each part of the document (it's color coded...YAY for organization)!

A few of the downsides to this type of sharing are that the Internet must be accessed in order to view and edit the document, a valid email address is necessary (preferably Gmail), and security is always an issue when using the Internet. Many projects would have to be planned in advance, knowing that time is always a factor, and that patience is necessary!

1 comment:

  1. Leslie, I really like the revision piece of Google Docs also. While I haven't used it before in class during group projects it has been discussed to use it to work on papers or other projects. I think it is a great collaborative tool.