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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thing 8

The first idea that jumps out in my mind is using this with other coworkers. It would save a lot of time if 2 or 3 people were working on a Power Point presentation or other documents. We collaborate sometimes, but often times, as a new teacher especially, I'm making a lot from scratch or at the very least tweaking others' ideas. For example, I just worked on and uploaded a Power Point about Las Posadas (Mexican Christmas). Because this information won't change (for a while...), it would be beneficial for all Spanish teachers to have a copy of the presentation online. We could agree to show it for Spanish 1 classes. The Spanish teachers like to switch the level they teach each year; for example, I should hypothetically get Spanish 2 next year. If we created notes about Spanish holidays for each year (or other topics) then I could just go to Google docs and retrieve. This would save myself time from creating something brand new, and it would save the veteran teachers time from having to answer my emails : )

I could see Google docs being beneficial with writing assignments for English. Often times students have problems converting a document they were working on in class to be compatible with the programs they have at home. This would be a huge benefit! It would obviously be helpful for group projects, too. This way students don't have to worry about bringing in flash drives or who saves the work to whose file because they would all be sharing the same file online.

Personally, it would save me time also from saving information to a flash drive and then uploading it onto my work computer or emailing myself documents I've created at home.

Problems would involve setting up the students' email accounts and teaching them clearly enough so that they understand exactly how it works and are able to use Google docs at home by themselves. Other potential problems might be students trying to copy each others' work online , which would be more difficult to monitor (of course, if the final products are the same it will be obvious what happened).

For now, I can see more advantages than disadvantages to using Google docs. Perhaps once I try it out more (both for me and with students) the disadvantages will be clearer.


  1. Yes, you've figured out the power of online collaboration! Teachers all over the country are reinventing the wheel every day. It's nice to think of working with your colleagues to develop a set of materials that will work for you no matter what your class assignments are from year to year. Even teachers from smaller districts could work together.

    My wife has dealt with the flash drive issue at her school. Students often forget them, or the computer won't read them, or the students don't disconnect them and lose their work... how much easier it would be if it could all be online and accessible at home or at school. Likewise, a teacher's handouts and homework assignments could be shared online. No more excuses for lost or forgotten assignments!

    There is a way for schools to provide Google Apps for their staff and students, but it involves setting up a server, and some other advance preparation. But it is FREE! I wish we could persuade districts across the county to go in this direction! No more money going to Bill Gates for the latest version of Office.

  2. What would stop districts from providing Google Apps then if it's free? Just the advanced preparation?

    When I did my student teaching, the school provided software for taking tests online. I loved it! Students took their tests online, could see which questions they got wrong right after, and teachers could print out test grades right from the computer lab! But I know that particular software costs big bucks.