Delivering Professional Development – Google Docs

“The best part of learning is sharing what you know.”
– Attrbuted to Vaughn K. Lauer

My regular readers would be aware that I am delivering profession development sessions to colleagues around the use of technology in the classroom. This afternoon will be the second session in this series, and will be focusing on developing a greater knowledge in using the Google Apps for Education (GAfE).

Last week, I introduced them to Google Apps for Education, and delivered the session via Google Classroom. This afternoon, I will be spending further time with them looking at ways that Google Drive can be used in conjunction with Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides in the classroom, and as tools for collaboration.

On that note, here are some ways that you can deploy Google Docs in the classroom.

  1. Collaborative story writing: Google Docs can be used by multiple authors at the same time. This creates a scenario where group tasks can be undertaken, with each member actively contributing, making it harder for some students to hide in the mass.
  2. Live Feedback: Google Docs allows you to insert comments on the document, as in MS Word, and this allows you to provide live feedback to students on their writing, whether or not you are in the classroom.
  3. Collaborative Planning: Google Docs can be utilised to to collaboratively plan and develop units of work and programs for Stages, Themed Units and Terms.

Those are a few simple ways that Google Docs can be used.

As always, thank you for reading, and I would like to hear from anyone with ideas on how you use Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Class or Drive in the classroom or for staff Professional Development.

Collaboration

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
-Attributed to Amy Poehler

No single teacher, on their own, causes great things in the classroom or motivates students. That may sound odd, given that most classrooms are operated by a single teacher, but we do not cause great things to happen in isolation. The great moment in a lesson occurs because we have brainstormed how to deliver a particular lesson/skill/concept with a colleague, we have asked our partner or children for their feedback, we have sought feedback from our own students on how we can be better teachers for them and put that into practice, we have been to a professional development session of some description that has lit a fire under our tail and ignited a passion we were heretofore unaware of, the office staff have printed and distributed notes for any number of reasons.

In other words, we have collaborated in a variety of ways and with a variety of people. We do nothing in isolation. Ultimately, if we do not collaborate with our students, it will be irrelevant how amazing and inspiring our lesson plan is. Without their collaboration and buy-in, nothing is achieved.

I had a conversation this morning with a colleague who delivered my program to some classes on Friday, and her feedback was very useful. She pointed out that attempting to have students save a filed onto a communal USB was very time-intensive, and recommended simply using a class list as a tick and flick sheet, with a particular competency noted at the top of each column, and a tick if the competency was achieved. That was the initial idea, and somehow in the transition to using the class laptops as opposed to small groups, the method was cast aside. I used that method this morning, and it was much easier, and much simpler to put into practice in the classroom, and also when entering the data on the spreadsheet that my records are being kept on.

Collaboration with colleagues, especially around sharing what works is vital to a teachers success. How do you collaborate?

As always, thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from people about the collaboration that is going on.