This time when I write my blog I want to try and direct my readers to some other great blogs and ideas from my classmates in ECI831. I read some of my fellow classmates blogs and found many similarities in thoughts but also came across ideas that I could try in the classroom. Thank you to those who posted to their blogs so fast! It is helping me write and reflect for my own entry.
I have been using Google Apps for approximately two years. After the presentation by Michael Wacker I was mistaken; I have not been using Google Apps (well to its full capacity.) There is so much that you can do with this program that I did not know existed. One of my favorite features I learned from the presentation was using the feature of highlighting a word or idea within the text and being able to make a comment on it on the side. This would be great for editing students work and for collaborating with co-workers.
I only have experience with working with Google Docs with colleagues in my school building. We used it for many different aspects and I hope my readers will get some ideas from me. We used a live Word Doc to record specific incidents or celebrations throughout the school day. I would share this information only with my teaching team and administrators. This would help everyone be in the loop with what had transpired that day, and for others to make comments too. We used Google docs to help with report card comments. I would create the document and my administrators could review and make necessary changes and check for grammar (bless their hearts as I know they had to do the fair bit of editing). They could ask questions, and I would know who made what changes as they would edit in a different color or font. Our school also used an Excel sheet to schedule in teacher parent conferences. This was so easy and eliminated the “hockey draft” style of scheduling. It was also very helpful for other staff in the building as they could go and check the schedule on a computer rather than look at a few paper copies.
My favorite way to use Google Docs was to collaborate with colleagues. We would write down our ideas during team meetings and could access it throughout the year. I would often find myself at home typing out ideas and then a cool thing started to happen. Since the Google Docs are live I saw that my co-teachers and colleagues were on at the same time as me; I could see them typing their thoughts. We almost had a mini chat session through this document! I hope that I gave a few good ideas to anyone out there reading this!
I have been contemplating and thinking about trying to use Google Docs or other aspects of Google Apps this with my students. I mean it works so well with the people I work with why not with students? I never did get the chance to figure out how I could incorporate this with students, however my head is now buzzing with ideas from Michael Wacker but also from fellow classmates. Jeremy Black uses Google Drive with documents for a book report. His post talks about how easy it was to keep things organized and having all of the students work all in one place! I keep asking myself why am I not using this stuff! (Next year when I am back in the classroom).
Jeremy also posted a cool site that I will also post to my Blog Google for Education. Check it out! It can teach you how to use Google Apps in the classroom and all the other special features it has out there. This also gave me the idea to follow Google on Twitter to keep updated with stories and hear how other people use Google Apps. You can follow them@GoogleforWork.
For now I must close off my entry so I can read more classmates blogs, and then add to my own later. Thank you Jeremy for letting me read your blog and learn from you! What is your favorite Google App?