At the time this is published I am presenting at the Google Teacher Academy on the development of the use of Google Docs for writing with Year 4 at Robin Hood Primary School. I have blogged about the practicalities of using Google Docs for personalising writing before here,and this was also the subject of my application to the GTA (available here).
As this presentation is aimed at people familiar with Google tools I will speak less about the practicalities I have describe in the links above, and more about the process of thinking we went through to develop this use of the tool. This was really a case of picking up on the fact that children immediately noticed the potential to share and collaborate with Google Docs, and felt naturally compelled to do so. In some ways their use of the tools in ‘the wrong way’ to email and message each other irked me at first, but I decided to run with this and allow our use of the tool to develop through the meaning the children brought to it, rather than a meaning I imposed on them.
This has lead to an organic development of a way of working, with surprises on the way, to the point where we are all writing individually, but collaborating on the process. It has moved from my own previously described use of Docs to facilitate smooth and timely teacher intervention at the point of learning, to children intervening productively in each others learning.
As I hope the embedded videos will show, allowing the work to develop in this way and discussing it with the children has lead to them having a deep understanding of the uses and potential for the tool. No doubt I will not have time to show them all in the presentation, but I would encourage attendees to watch through them at a later day, as the children make some excellent points in a far more compelling way than I could.
Presenting at #gtauk http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisathumann/4840594235/in/pool-1485666@N21/