A couple of years ago, I had never really thought about Google Docs prior to becoming friends with people, who seemed to use it all the time. The more I sent/received, the more I realised that it could be used with children in the class. Thus began my begging the network manager. Now, two years later, I’m about to begin the journey again with my new school.
Here are a few ways I used
We had Microsoft Surface tablets which, annoyingly, meant that the children can’t save any work they complete – they end up having to email it to me to save into their documents (what a waste of learning time and my break time!) Now, they just log onto their Google docs and can access them wherever they like. Now we have iPads, so I’m hoping to solve this same problem by introducing Google Docs to children asap.
We have two long-term projects at the moment in Geography and Computing and the children have a group doc that they can all add to in real time. They invite me in so that I can make comments along the way and check on how they’re progressing through their work and if everyone is pulling their weight. Some have even worked at home and added to their projects, which was impossible for them prior to the introduction of Google docs. When they do presentations or similar, the children might use Slides and work live together or they’ll use Prezi and have the link to it in their docs so that I can access it.
Example of a group brainstorming ideas for their app creation:
I sent out forms about various things, gathering opinions about things around the school and in my classroom and requesting their feedback about teaching and learning. On the whole, they weren’t overly honest to begin with, but we have gone through it and they have learnt that it is for me only to help them. It’s interesting and something which I will continue.
Since then, I have sent out forms to teachers organising the Christmas do (very important) and parents about trips.
For Computing, the children self assess against the success criteria, include a screen shot of where they’re up to and then I assess them/give feedback for next lesson. It is a quick and easy way to see a snapshot of how the all thirty of them have dealt with expectations that lesson and then I can alter the next lesson accordingly. It also means that when they arrive at the ICT suite they can get straight on while I talk to those who may have silently struggled.
Organising the digital leaders who are across 4 year groups. The jobs are posted, they log in on the morning when they’re on duty to see what needs done over the course of the day. They also have a typing competition document, which they update with names and scores with the class they go into. They aren’t pretty or exciting, but my goodness does it make my life a lot easier!