Thing #20-One Degree Google

Only weeks ago, I felt all things led to Google.  Now I know this to be utterly true.  Google has always been one of my favorite search tools on the Internet, and with the discovery of gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, Google News, easy to subscribe to RSS news feeds, surveys, and more, I am forever in love!

My students recently signed up for Google Docs to have reliable and easy access to their school documents, without having to send email from and to school.  Of course, the students picked up on the user-friendly interface, discovering the history feature within minutes of opening up an account.  They love it that they can pull up previous versions of their work.  For editing, they can easily share their document with me and their classmates, and the uploading of previously made outlines and drafts was a cinch. I was amazed that most of the formatting stayed in tact.  I did find that students had more control over printing and formatting on pages if they download the document. 

(3) Ideas for Classroom & Professional Use:

Idea One:  Use google docs as an online storage solution, so that you and students have access to your work anytime, anywhere. 

Idea Two:  Use google docs to survey others in a research project.  So many times students in their science fair projects walk around school with a notepad and a list of questions.  They can now automate these questions and have the answers dumped into a spreadsheet, all from google docs!

Idea Three:  Use google docs to collaborate on student writing.  Students can share their documents within assigned writing groups.  Students can offer edits and comments in different colors, right on the google document.  This will remove the need for emailing the work, and it will cut down on the difficulty in reading student hand writing!  In addition, the teacher can also have shared access to student work, offering edits and feedback electronically, instead of marking up hardcopies.

Bonus Ideas: 

  • Use Google Docs to collaborate on a professional document, like a parent newsletter, acceptable use policy, or the revision of some curriculum. 
  • Use Google Docs to create a “quick and dirty” web page, complete with a table of contents.  You can take any google doc and make it a live web page with the click of the button.  I did this with a poem I recently wrote as a model of “ode writing” with my students.  Check out “Ode to Sparkle Jeans“!

The possibilities are endless.  If you can imagine it, it can be utilized in Google Docs!

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