Google Docs for Collaboration (Part 2)

This is the second in a sequence of posts outlining ways that I have used Google Docs with my classes.

Once my Year 11 History class had become very familiar with Docs I was able to give them a group presentation task. I mentioned in my previous post that I had split them into groups of three for collaborative note-building. Well these groups were named after the New Zealand Prime Ministers after World War II (1945-85). I thought it would be a good idea that each group introduced their Prime Minister to the rest of the class as a 5 minute presentation. Of course this was to be done chronologically as we moved through the course.

The groups were simply instructed to create and share a Google Presentation (PowerPoint) with each other and myself (for presentation purposes). It was to be a simple 4-5 slide presentation. They had not been given any advice in how to use the Google Docs tool as they were at a stage where they could work this out for themselves. There were to be 9 presentations in all.

As we progressed through the course and the presentations we were able to discuss “what makes a good presentation”. Some of the students really picked up on this and went for good visual slides complemented by some brief notes which they read as the slides showed.

I felt that this was a good use of the Google Docs tool as it was done collaboratively by the students and completely out of class and it also complemented what we were doing in class. The students took the task seriously and really came to the party. Note: There was NO ASSESSMENT involved in this at all.

I have published their presentations. Here are the links to give you an idea of what they produced:

Peter Fraser
Sidney Holland
Walter Nash
Keith Holyoake
Jack Marshall
Norman Kirk
Wallace Rowling
Rob Muldoon
David Lange

Plenty more to come on Google Docs for Collaboration…

2 Comments

Jenny SmithJuly 12th, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hi Mark,
Great blog. I’m also a secondary school teacher (ICT/Computing – Auckland). I just discovered how to use Google Docs to create online surveys. Not sure if you’ve come across this feature or not. Check out my latest blog post at http://gadgetgurl.edublogs.org/2009/07/11/online-surveys-with-google-docs/ for more info.
Regards,
Jenny

Mark CallagherJuly 12th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Hi Jenny,
Great to see another convert to the power of what Google provides. We have been using Google Forms (surveys) at our school all year. More and more teachers are using them. I will do my next blog post today on examples of Forms and Feedback. Thanks for reminding me.

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