Reflection: Online Resources Google Apps Collaboration through ELA and Math - Section 3: Present and Reflect

 

This was a new experience for me.  I've worked with google docs, myself, but not in the area of creating a document and sharing.  The best teacher is always experience, and I feel quite experienced now. 

The biggest issue for me was the activation of student accounts- it was not a simple task.  Technology being technology, there were reasons beyond comprehension of why some students were able to access their accounts, yet others who also followed the directions to a T couldn't get on.  This caused a lot of confusion in the computer lab on that day, and I fortunately had blocked out enough time for trial and error.  My suggestion is that a technology expert from the school be present for troubleshooting AND as another body in the room.

Another unanticipated issue was how differently kids act on google docs than adults.  In retrospect, this should not have come as a surprise at all!  As soon as they were aware of their power to change what was written, and contribute what they wanted, the generic document became a kind of "water cooler chat room."  The kids who had successfully shared a document with a partner were able to easily work on the activity, but a few did NOT have a shared document, plus were all in the same "room."  This was their chance to have regular conversation.  Such a group can't stay quiet and on task- it's too exciting, so they quickly stood out.  After monitoring these and realizing it wasn't their fault they didn't have a shared document, I directed kids to join with someone involved in a shared document.

Although it didn't all go according to plan, the bottom line was that documents were created through the collaboration of students from two different schools, at the same time, and this was the objective.

  Using Google Docs
  Online Resources: Using Google Docs
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Google Apps Collaboration through ELA and Math

Unit 8: Structuring Informational Text
Lesson 13 of 13

Objective: TSWBAT annotate informational text and collaborate through Google Docs with a class at another school to write and solve ELA and Math questions.

Big Idea: One article, fifty-eight students, annotated work, and Google Docs to bring it all together.

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lots of collaboration in class and
 
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