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Missed an opportunity to use Google Docs…Daggumit

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Lao-tzu
, Chinese philosopher

You know, I hate when I miss an opportunity to use Google Docs in the classroom, and this was such an easy thing to do but I missed an opportunity to use it in class. We were doing a “Brain Dumping” activity (some call it brain storming) to prepare for our first real AP Assessment in World History. “Brain Dumping” is an activity in which you try to literally”dump” all of the knowledge you have acquired from previous lessons, activities, film clips, power point presentations, (can’t use Presi on our network) movies from the “History Channel” and mini lectures casual conversations with parents and friends about a specific subject and list it on the white board in the front of the room. “Brain Storming” is used to address new ideas, concepts or solve a problem. It works best at the beginning of a series of lessons on a specific topic or idea where as Brain Dumping is a culmination activity.


It was only after reflecting on the day’s lesson that I realized I could have used Google Docs to truly enhance the lesson. I could have opened a document in Google Docs, and typed in their responses on the main projection screen, then compiled and edited the data of all five classes, and sent it to all of my students’ Google accounts at one time before they arrived home that same day. We would have produced a great class study guide.


Another activity with Google Docs could have been to set up a document in Google Docs and have my students “Brain Dump” from home. I would have given them editing privileges allowing them to add and edit each other’s work to produce their own study guide. That would have been the way to go. Last year, was the first time I used Google Doc keeping it simple but this year I hope to explore all of the possibilities of this application along with the myriad of possibilities available in the Web 2.0 world.

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Comment by Terri Tomassi on October 6, 2010 at 8:01pm
Thank you! I am going to try this :)
Comment by Orlando Falvo on October 2, 2010 at 6:29pm
Do they have to have separate accounts? Yes, every student has their own account on Google docs.
How do you get all your students on Google docs to edit one doc?
Since our county network does not allow any students on Google docs they have to work on it outside of school, I have to model everything for them first, then I get out of their way. The first activities we did to get students use to the idea of using Google docs was to allow them to work together in small groups answering assigned chapter questions in a timely manner. They needed to build some trust with each other. Once everyone seemed to have figured out how to use Google Docs we asked them to create the study guide as a class.We grade their participation by checking the revision history which shows each students activity on site by date and input.
Comment by Terri Tomassi on October 2, 2010 at 8:45am
How do you get all your students on google docs to edit one doc? Do they have to have separate accounts?
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