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Sharing !

Collaboration in Education…

We all know from first school to high school you tell the kids to share! But sometimes you can sit back and watch them share an idea, their work, and then even go looking for more people to share with…here’s how my students are surprising me…

Google Documents

Since September my very bright and responsible Yr13 Applied ICT students have been working on a Project Management unit of study. They are examined on amongst other things;

  • Communication,
  • Developing new skills
  • Collaborative working

Google to the rescue

We have found the saviour to be Google Docs, and now I’m thinkng how can collegues use this amazing tool too?!?!

My students and I have sat down and discussed this, and I must say that this post comes from their views as well as my own.

The HUGE benefits of Google Docs:

  • Accessibility (24hrs a day online) from any web enabled machine!
  • Not software reliant, a Mac, a PC or a netbook can access, edit and update GDoc files!
  • Communication – ability to invite anyone to view, edit and update a document
  • Collaboration – Ability to share a whole file of documents, or a single document with anyone across the whole world! A presentation, word processed file or a spreadsheet!

Benefits for student project work click to read posts written by my students

Student Voice…teachers please listen!

Taking the starting point that if Google Documents and Google Apps could make students more productive…we sat down and discussed how we felt they could benifit teachers, the outcome of the discussion is bulit pointed beneath with example uses we came up with.

  • Scheme or work sharing – through the ability to share a document ‘live’ online and invite staff in a department to contribute to it the document is not only created faster, but includes the input of all staff, and is in the truest form a ‘working document’ as it can be updated, edited and adapted 24/7!
  • Collaborating on resources, not just sending a presentation, spreadsheet of word-processed document to someone via email but being able to work together on it from separate locations at any time! Would make preparing cross school working group presentations very quick and very easy!
  • Department, or scheme websites – using Google Sites – Google allows users to create FREE websites from easy to use templates, you can upload resources, youtube videos etc, really engaging for students who like to feel their work or subject warrents a website all of its own just for them! Example of my Yr !3 one can be viewed here
  • Forms – Using Google Documents you can easily create an online form (questionnaire or test) and the answers will feed into a spreadsheet online in real time!) Not bo bad for fast assessment eh?!

And that’s just some of them, in all honesty I’m loving Google Apps, and the fact that the Education edition is rolling out across the world so fast is an encouraging thing! I’m now working on it rolling our Schools way!

It’s up in a cloud…

The thinking behind this working is talked about as ‘working on a cloud’ – Your work isn’t on any one team members PC or USB stick – it is on the cloud – online and can be accessed, edited and updated live by anyone who’s email address has been granted permission!

It saves a multitude of the same documents whizzing around attached to emails! It allows teams to collaborate and be a team! It means you can access a document, spreadsheet, or presentation anywhere in the world with a web connection!

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