Google's hospitality was wonderful and two long days passed very quickly. We looked at a lot of applications some new to me, some I had used but the theme that was ever present was the collaborative nature of all the tools. By the way not all of the tools were Google tools the focus was truly on how to support effective teaching/learning in the digital world. It was also about connections with other educators, inspiration, and encouragement!
I still have to "unpack" some of the tools and put them through their paces but one tool that will absolutely be part of our classrooms is Google Docs. Below are some of my notes. This tool along with Trailfire which I talked about in a previous post have the potential to transform and organize constructivist learning in very powerful ways because for the teachers and the students the technology will become transparent and that is exactly what we need. It is so easy to keep trying to learn the newest tool ( and I will always keep learning) but i think one of the ways I need to change my focus is to begin to decided what are the most effective tools for the job ...( effective at this point means powerful, free and easy to use so the learning curve does not become a stumbling block for any of us)
Docs (some advantages)
Can't forget to save (it is saves automatically every few minutes)
Work anywhere- does not matter whose computer ( Dad's house, School, Mom's House)
Teachers are added as collaborators on all writing and can always see what students are doing at any point - all revisions are saved and viewable on the tabs across the top
No more questioning whether any revisions are being made or who is making them
Collaboration- easy for peer collaboration too- just add the names
Very Useful Tips
All students should name their documents by their first and last name and class period..Example 2Brown, Catherine: Of Mice and Men
If I can't find your essay you do not get a grade
Students must list you (the teacher) as collaborator - they can also list other students as collaborators so they can work/edit together.
There is also a comment tool ...all comments are automatically removed when you post to a blog
Use tags to sort list
Must upload not cut and paste or you will use formatting
To print use icon not the file menuTechnorati Tags: Google, GoogleAcademy, Goggledocs, 2.0tools, trailfire