Thursday, 16 September 2010

Bringing It All Together (2010)

I have recently started using Google Docs with some of my classes. It has been an interesting process in itself. In order to do this, I took part of a lesson to get all students to create Google accounts, using their school email accounts. The benefit of this is that it becomes easier for me to track students - especially when sharing documents.

Google Docs has proved to be a great resource when students are engaged in group tasks. One student creates the document and shares it with his group members (the fact that accounts are based on school email addresses makes this sharing easy!!!). I typically ask the groups to share the document with me.

Google Docs is also a great tool where a teacher would like to observe students engaged in individual writing tasks.

There are many benefits for me in getting the boys to use a Google Doc to record their group work.

It gives them a place to record their discussions. One person does not have to be responsible for recording all the discussion. Each student can contribute to the document. Group members may take responsibility for different parts of the document.

As a teacher I can track the group discussion through their document. Since the students share the document I have edit rights. I can use colour coding to suggest grammar or spelling corrections. I can also leave comments suggestion areas that still need to be discussed or elaborated.

Tracking student work however involved me having to wade through my Google Docs file list of "files shared with me". I must admit that I was finding this somewhat time consuming.

Enter the idea of bringing multiple student documents together in one page using our Apple Wiki and Blog Server.

I simply use the following HTML code to embed the Google Doc

The width and height can be adjusted to suit your page.

The result is shown below

Students can only see their own Google Doc and those that have been shared with them. As a teacher I can see and interact with all of the student pages on one page. Students can quickly and easily access their work through the class wiki.