Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Google Docs: Not Just for Sharing

EduCon came and went and I am still trying to organize my thoughts on everything, but what I do want to do is share what came out of our conversation, “Google Docs: Not Just for Sharing.” My fabulous co-presenter and I originally thought we would lead a discussion about our use of Google Docs focused on three areas: collaboration, management and assessment. We were hoping to share what we do, but more importantly, learn what others are doing. CHA-CHING! That’s exactly what happened and more. (And equally amazing was that we scheduled for the last session of the day and people still came! They came!) Below is an electronic version of my whiteboard notes, hopefully explained in a helpful way. Our original three areas were expanded to six.

Assessment. Teachers are using Google Docs as a tool to…
  • track IEP goal progress
  • collect measurable data (specific checklists)
  • create unofficial report cards to share with students
  • create student reflection/learning journals where the teacher can see and leave comments
  • create e-portfolios where students put work in folders and share with teacher
  • color code data.
  • pre-test prior knowledge "self-grading test" in google docs. Here are some great sites to help:

Management. Teachers are using Google Docs as a tool to…
  • survey students. Some teachers are embedding on Blackboard or a Wiki
  • do their morning message and graph responses
  • survey teachers
  • group students
  • create private channels between teacher and student

Learning. Teachers are using Google Docs as a tool to…
  • design writing prompts such as sentence starters or drop down menus
  • collect data from survey in excel, then mail merge to create script
  • design and administer attitude surveys

Collaboration. Teachers are using Google Docs as a tool to…
  • journal between teachers
  • plan instruction
  • reflect
  • share access to folders, and guess what?! They can be color coded! I’m in heaven.

We also have our hopes and dreams for Google Docs (Google Friends, are you out there?) Teachers would like…
  • more drawing tools
  • a chat feature on iPad
  • a public, sharable iGoogle

Other Great Ideas That Deserve Mentioning:
  • Teachers are setting up classroom with google site homepage with gadgets relevant to curriculum. They give students edit privileges (this is geared toward our older students.)
  • Some schools are using Google Apps for K-12 http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/k12.html
  • Teachers also use Drop Box (another tool for sharing files)
What was clear as our conversation unfolded is that teachers of all stripes are using Google Docs. I want to sincerely thank everyone that attended our conversation and also hope that we can continue to add to this amazing list of ideas!

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