Thursday, October 20, 2011

Content Collaboration and Google Docs

Google Docs is an effective content collaboration tool that allows it users to simultaneously view and edit a document and save it in the "cloud" space of the Internet.  I can think of a number of ways Google Docs can be used among students, teachers, and staff/administrators, including having them use this tool whenever there is a group project that requires collaboration to write/type a document and/or report.  This may seems like a very basic concept, but it is not always thought of when groups are working together to complete a project; many groups still waste time trying to get together to write everything down on a piece of paper.  That's not to say the social interaction of physical collaboration is overrated, but when you're trying coordinate 4+ people's schedules to complete a project, etc., then maybe you should consider Google Docs.

Another idea for using Google Docs, which I will admit to "stealing" from Mrs. Michele Babbie, the LMS at the Sauquoit Valley High School, is while showing a class of students databases (for example) for a new class project, have your students think about and then add to a Google Docs some of the "key words or phrases" they will use to search for their projects on those databases.  While this is going on, have the Google Docs page up on the projector screen of everyone to see and then everyone will see simultaneously what their peers are thinking!  Mrs. Babbie tried this a couple of weeks ago and it was interesting to see some of the responses, although I think we decided that it would have worked a little more efficiently if the document had some more organization (like Team #1, write their thoughts under "Team #1", etc.), instead of students just typing all over the place.  There was also a problem with students erasing the words/phrases of some other students and then more students were just typing funny stuff like "Hello, everyone!", so establishing the ground rules are important as well.

1 comment:

  1. Good example as well as review of how to improve on the experience next time. And yes, while physical collaboration is great especially at the start-up of projects, Google Docs really helps reduce the tension of juggling a bunch of schedules!