Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Google: The Collaborative Tool

So I'm sure my students already know this, but Google Apps are one of my favorite things to use in the classroom!  We've used them to take notes before, do presentations, store files, communicate with each other, and now, most recently we've used Google Docs as a peer editing tool.

For our last essay, examining John Gast's 1872 painting called American Progress, students had to get at least 2 of their peers to edit their rough drafts before I would edit it.  When you edit on paper it can be really hard to tell who's writing what, who's comments are who's, and so on.  With Google Docs it becomes so remarkably simple to "edit" and collaborate on an essay (or any document!).  All that needs to happens is this:
  1. Students create a new doc to type their essay on
  2. After typing their rough draft, students "share" (blue box, upper right corner) their doc with as many people as they want to view/edit it
  3. Other students then open the docs that were shared with them and they can now "edit" directly on the doc.  They do this by highlight words or sentences and then selecting "insert --> comment" and adding a "sticky note" comment that will highlight the word/sentence and appear on the right hand side of the screen.  Students can comment on misspellings, sentence structure, ideas, anything!  And (best part), it time and name stamps the comment!  There can be as many comments as is shared out; others can comment on the same word/sentence or other ones.  There's no limit!
  4. The original student's document that now has been "commented" on (i.e. edited), that student can go make changes and "check" (approve) the comments once they've made the change to that document so they know that "issue" has been addressed.
Overall I am so happy and in love with this process.  I have never seen my students more engaged and wanting to edit each others' work than with this process.  I encourage you to give it a try in your classroom!  It can work for major essays or simple, short writing assignments!  Plus, Google Docs is also a great collaborative tool for group work where multiple people can be working on the same assignment in one place--one Google Doc.

Below are some screenshots from my students recent collaboration with their essays and Google Docs.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...