Google Docs: A technology every teacher should know about

Teachers_Day-2011-hp

“Search without Google is like social networking without Facebook: unimaginable.”

– Evgeny Morozov

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Google a great tool for the classroom?

Sometimes when looking at tools we can use for teaching we pass over the most obvious. After a couple of weeks discovering new tools I noticed that I was always passing by the Google tool bar to do my researches. The first and obvious benefit of this tool is definitely the Google search bar. This web search engine can do more for education. You can share documents with Google Docs, Google books, Google earth, Google Scholar, Google calendar and much more. All those tools inside of the Google technology can provide help to your students in their second language learning. This can also give you a hand in order to organize your classes and helps you intergrade technology inside your classroom.

Most of what will be helpful as a teacher will be the publishing feature available once you’ve created yourself a GMAIL account.

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options for using Google in your classroom 

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What’s Google Docs?

Google Docs allows your students to create and edit documents collaboratively. As an example, you could ask them to write a short story with the vocabulary and seen in class using Google Docs. Each of them can work on their parts and then share it with their peers via this technology. Thus rather than using the conventional way of collaborative work you use technology in order for them to collaborate and have them later on share it to you and the class.

Google docs can be accessed through a mobile phone, a tablet or a computer. These are all tools available at all time in most school environment. This interactive software can store up to 15GB.

This user-friendly interface enables you to apply the formatting of your choice. You can easily modify the color, the words and the text at any time all most of all it can be done by all your students cooperatively from their own homes.

How to create a Google Docs? 

  • Create a free Gmail account
  • Make your text easily

Or

  • Import your own document
  • Share it with your peers using their Gmail accounts

What can you do with Google in your classroom? 

  • You can use Google Docs to improve your students writing process by having students work collaboratively from everywhere, by giving your students ongoing and simultaneous feedback on their work and by publishing students work.
  • Have them write a journal but instead of bringing home multiple notebooks you only need Google Docs since they’ll have shared their work with you.
  • It’s easy to track students homework since you can use interactive spreadsheets with anonymous numbers.
  • To create flashcards (One of my favorite option since it’s fun and good for students to learn and memorize)
  • Create forms for your students
  • Have a class calendar accessible for everyone from google
  • Invite a googled into your classroom via google to share information with students (A presenter that you usually wouldn’t have access because of the distance for example.

And more !!! You just have to take a look at the tool and discover it’s many options!!!

Want more ideas? Click here

 

What’s Google Drive?

Google Drive is an upgraded version of Google Docs. Essentially students or teachers can store documents, photos, videos and etc. The students just have to drag and drop in the drop box and all the files are ready to be opened. All the students and the teacher have the same file that they can all edit together from everything.

Something interesting as well is that it allows you to look back at all the revisions made on the documents from the past 30 days. This allows the teacher to track the steps the students are using throughout the project. It helps us give them advise step by step and see how they are advancing in the project.

Having a tool that is easy to find and easy share makes projects easier for students to produce. It is less conventional then putting them around their desks and have them write on sheets of papers. Diversity is a richness we need to use as future teachers and Google as definitely multiple tools and apps to help us in the process.

Want to know everything Google can offer you? Click here.

Everything to know about google drive in order to go paperless.

What people think about Google and it’s many options?

Google being a very easy tool to use and being implicated for years now it was harder to find negative opinions on it. On my hand I was more on the positive effects of the tool on students. But, an article caught my eye. This article is about how google Docs is revolutionizing the classroom.

”Ever since I made my students aware that I could easily spot cursory revisions, I’ve noticed substantial improvement in the quality of their writing.”

Important points from the article: 

  • Google Docs helps teacher be there for their students at anytime while they’re writing essays.
  • Brainstorming (For example, she asks her students what their opinion on ‘The Great Gatsby’ and they have five minutes to write something and then she projects it using Google Docs and they can talk about their opinion)

”To illustrate, I’ll use my experience helping students write essays about the most beloved and/or despised staple of high school American literature courses, “The Great Gatsby.” Let’s start with a brainstorming session. At the beginning of a class, I ask my students to enter a response to the following prompt into a shared Google Doc: “When I think of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ one word that comes to mind is….” Five minutes later, the Google Doc projected on a large screen at the front of the room is filled with origins of essay topics:  ”disillusionment,” “American Dream,” “obsession,” and “self-deception,” to name a consistent few. Especially for weaker students, the collaborative nature of this exercise exposes them to ideas in a manner that the old practice of independent journaling cannot. This method also gives a voice to the introverted students in class whose often brilliant ideas now receive the attention they deserve.”

  • Easy communication between teacher and student
  • Easy for correction and revision

My opinion about what they think:

I find it’s true. Were living in a technological era and we have to adapt. Google is revolutionary and why not use it to our advantage? Multiple points that were writing in the article were about how easy it is to correct, share and work with the tool and I have to agree on it. I started using Google, Google Docs and Google Drive mostly in Cegep and University and it changed and helped the way I work. It’s just great for group projects. It’s easy to share with our teachers and because we share it virtually we are helping the environment at the same time and this is just great. What I liked the most about what she did is the brainstorming that she did with her students. I find as she said it’s a good way for weaker students to collaborate with the rest of the class. It actually does give a voice to each and everyone in the classroom.

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Other fun Google tools:

Google Earth

Google as a countdown timer

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If you need help on how to use Google Docs click here you’ll find great theory and practice.

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