Time for me to organize my thoughts.
I've been thinking about how we've been using Google Docs for our writing conference notes and as the classroom teacher, this is why I love them:
- I can't get to 18 kiddos during the week to conference, but because I am very lucky to have 2 other teachers in the room, we as a team, can. Our shared document allows me to review every conference with every kid. It's like we are one uber-super-teacher.
- I've picked up language from my co-teachers and vice versa. We now speak in the same "writing language." This consistency is so important.
- Our kids think we share the same brain, so it's amazing to see them view us as one entity, and every now and again, it's fun to mess with them.
- This is a non-writing point, but if I see a possible behavior issue, I can use the chat function to ask a coteacher to look in on the offender.
- In an environment when planning time is precious and hard to come by, using Google Docs allows us to plan and collaborate during conferencing, and also on our own time. We're already one or two steps ahead when we sit down for our face to face planning time.
- I hate paper. I HATE PAPER. Really hate it. Hate isn't a strong enough word for how I feel about paper.
- All of my important information is in one location, and accessible from any computer with Internet access. My most-visited docs are on my iGoogle page for super easy access.
- When other colleagues ask me about using Google Docs, or what my plans look like, I simply add them with view permissions. A colleague will often pop in and say, "hey, I see you're working on ______ next week. What are you using/doing?" And boom, we share.