Monday, December 12, 2016

3 Ways to Increase Student Collaboration via Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, online document creation tool that allows users to contribute, edit, and interact together from any device. BISD employees and students in grades 3-12th grade can access Google Docs using their BISD Google login. Users can share documents with other people and choose a permission level in which other users can view, edit, or comment on a Google Doc from any device. Teachers and students utilize Google Docs to brainstorm, improve collaborative workflow, peer review, research, and publish content.  How does Google Docs improve student collaboration?

Digital Brainstorming Using Google Docs

Collaborative brainstorming sessions provide all students with an opportunity to contribute at their own pace using any device. Brainstorming activities in a virtual format can encourage students to engage in deep thinking, unlike traditional brainstorming sessions that often encourages quick responses in the classroom. Google Docs serves as a best platform to foster opportunities in which students can work together to develop big ideas and concepts. Students can easily import pictures, utilize shapes, or draw arrows and build a visual map for any task.

Collaborative Writing Using Google Docs

The feature that sets Google Docs apart from other word processing programs is the ability to share, collaborate, and publish. Sharing and commenting features available in Google Docs provide students with the ability to receive immediate feedback from not only teachers but also peers. Users can select sharing settings in the platform and specify right of contributors to view only, comment, or edit. Users can keep a track of changes made using revision history. Collaborative writing offers students the ability to exchange ideas in real time. Collaborative tasks encourage higher order thinking and provide students with the opportunity to serve as a drafter, reviewer, and editor. Shifting task rolls can foster strong cognitive processing opportunities through increased feedback and engagement. Google Docs additional Add-Ons lend strong research and reference support tools within the platform. Users can narrow a search to locate scholarly information, quotations, insert maps, and citations within the document.

Publishing Using Google Docs

Students can publish final products to the web by selecting file, “publish to the web. Publishing provides students with the opportunity to share their authentic tasks and products with the outside world, increase collaboration opportunities. Students can embed documents in a digital portfolio or blog. 

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