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Using Google tools...ideas, help, questions....

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Started by Enabling e-Learning 23 Sep 2011 11:35am () Replies (7)

Many of us use Google apps for all kinds of learning, our students' learning, our own sharing processes. 

Here's a useful post from Jo Fothergill's blog on how she uses Google docs to support her students' writing and editing: http://dragonsinger57.com/2011/09/10/google-docs-in-the-classroom/.

How do you use Google - and is there something that you've been wondering about...?





  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 12 Dec 2011 9:22pm ()

    Just thought I'd share a post from Hamish Chalmers, that he posted in the ICTs in English mailing list, a forum he facilitates. He shares his enthusiasm for Google docs, which they use extensively at Albany Senior:

    "Google docs is totally awesome! Particularly for English teachers. It’s been designed (I think) primarily for people to collaborate on documents. We use it a lot for school-wide and departmental-wide collaboration but have also found it a great way of tracking and giving feedback on student’s writing standards / folio work. Here’s the main awesomenesses of google docs divided into handy bullet points:

    • You can leave feedback for specific sections of text in neato-looking boxes separate from the text itself, kinda like “track changes” in word. Students can click “resolve” or they can ask questions by replying to the comment that the teacher (or another student - shock horror!) has made. You can then control whether you get emails about how these comments are being addressed - ie: whether they're resolved or replied to.
    • Revision history for tracking authenticity - You can check exactly when a document has been edited and by who.
    • Filing - It’s easy for a whole class to share their google docs with a teacher who can them file them in a folder/collection to keep them from getting mixed up with other google docs.
    • Keeping up with feedback. After all the students' writing is in one folder/collection, any documents which have been changed since you last opened them are in bold. This makes it easy-as to figure out which pieces a teacher needs to give feedback on and/or check.
    • Markbooks - Particularly cunning teachers might also create a google doc spreadsheet to keep track of marks and put this in the same folder/collection as the class’s writing. Fancy!

     We still have some teachers who prefer to keep track of students writing on paper and while I think this is total madness, I endeavour to be respectful of the wide and varied methods others use to organise their classes. The main drawback with google docs is that is doesn’t provide any fancy formatting abilities and it can be a bit confusing to start with to have two sets of menus (file, edit etc) one for your browser and another separate one for google docs.

    Oh, there’s also an awesome google docs app that google have finally gotten round to making for Android. It’s much nicer than the browser interface. Very occasionally ;), I’ll take some time in particularly long, inefficient meetings to peruse a bit of student writing or other exciting school-wide documentation."

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 16 Dec 2011 11:56am ()

    Does your school use Google apps for education?

    If so, add your school's details to this shared doc:


    This information would help schools considering the move understand the benefits (in case they had only thought of free email), identify others they can ask and work together on getting even more value from this service. It would be helpful to vendors and maybe the Ministry in thinking about what to integrate with / provide support for. Thanks to Paul Seiler for kicking this off:-)

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.