This week, I attended a CloudShare bootcamp that was all about Google Apps and how they can be useful for my school and my class. Take a look at the video below to gain an understanding of Google Apps.
I attended the bootcamp with other teachers from my school and we are now the Google Guides for our school. We are in charge of creating a Google Site for the students and parents at our school to use. Google Docs is one of the Google Apps we were introduced to. Take a look at the following video for an explanation of Google Docs.
I am so excited about the potential Google Docs has in the classroom – the options are endless! My year five class are learning how to write a persuasive text at the moment. I created a Google Doc that contains a table. Each student has their own row in the table where they are to write their statement of position (introduction to their persuasive text). As the document is online, we are all able to access the same document at the same time on different computers.
I can enter my suggestions/tips in the same box in a different colour and the student can then read my tips/suggestions and edit their statement. Not only does this help the students save time and motivate them to complete their work, they can see everyone’s statement of position, allowing the students to learn from each other.
As the document can easily be accessed from home, the students are able to share their learning with their parents and family members in an exciting way. As the students type into the document, they are able to see other students type into the online document at the same time. The students know that everyone in the class and their family members will be able to see their work – ta-da – an instant audience that motivates the students! The students are further motivated as they are able to paste their statement into a class blog post which reaches an even wider audience.
I have been blown away by the excitement and motivation of the students. Some of them have been checking the Google Doc regularly during the weekend to see if I had replied. They become even more excited when they can see me typing into the Google Doc in real time. The image below sums it all up.
Other ways to use Google Docs:
- Each group may have their own row to fill in and respond to ideas from other groups.
- Encourage class discussion as each student contributes.
- Joint construction of a text – everyone can see it and contribute.
- Students are able to edit a piece of writing together.
- Brainstorming before a task.
- Each group could be responsible for researching a particular topic and adding it to a class document.
- The students are able to publish their own piece of writing all on the same document and provide tips/suggestions on how they could improve it.
How do you use Google Docs in your classroom?