Google Docs for Collaboration (Part 4)

Well its been 6 weeks since my last posting. I have been incredibly busy but have continued to use Google Docs for Collaborative work with my students. Here is another way that I have used Google Docs in the last few weeks.

Year 9 (13-14 Year Old) Research and Presentation – Ancient Rome

I decided recently that I have had enough of doing all of the work in preparing and teaching for me a new topic. I decided to get the students to do a 8-12 minute presentation to the class on a topic within Ancient Rome. They were to work in groups of 2 or 3 (their choice).

Choosing Groups and Topics – Google Form
First I listed a range of topics for the students to choose from or they could suggest their own. I gave them a link to a Google Form where they could put in their preferences for group members and topic preferences (3). This made it easy for me to collate & appoint topics to each. Here is a link to the Google Form the students filled out.

Planning & Research – Google (Document and Spreadsheet)
The students then worked in groups on developing Three Focus Questions for their topic. This was done in Moodle Forums to allow students to feedback to other groups. They then worked collaboratively on a Google Research Document which would become their presentation notes. I did the activity myself on the topic “Hadrian’s Wall” as I wanted to model to the students what was required. As I write some of the students have already presented while others are yet to. I used a Google Spreadsheet (collaborated to all students) to allow the students to choose time-slots for their presentations. This was another time-saver and worked really well as students raced to choose the best times.

Presentations – Google Presentation
The students, having done most of their research and planning, were now at the stage to develop their presentation slides to support their presentation notes. This of course was done in Google Presentation. Again, I modeled this for the students (link here) as I wanted them to see that the slides were visual (with no or limited writing) and used to support what was being presented (voice). This simple presentation technique is still overlooked by many presenters. Presentations with a combination of both a voice script and reading off slides have long been proven to be the least effective.

So far two groups have presented and the standard has been reasonably good and will no doubt get better as students evaluate those that went before them. I have three more in about 30 minutes time so got to go.

I hope that this use of Google Docs for Collaboration has been of some use.

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