I completed this analysis as part of an assignment, but I figure it's worth sharing. My kids, you may leave a comment describing how using shared folders in Google Docs has impacted your learning.
The Big Idea
Teachers create a shared folder in Google Docs which contains all handouts related to the assigned writing process. Using Google Docs, students create folders shared with the teacher containing personalized copies of all handouts.
WhyShared folders created in Google Docs allow teachers to instantly distribute expectations and scaffolding handouts with students. Creating shared online folders containing all parts of the writing process eliminates the need for paper handouts and provides documents that can be easily modified by the student. Teachers are able to instantly revise content, which students are able to easily access from any location.
Students are able to easily share all—completed and in-progress—steps of the writing process with the teacher. Handouts cannot be lost, since they are saved with Google on “the cloud.”
The teacher creates handouts containing all parts of the writing process in Google Docs. Documents can be presentation slide shows, word-processing documents, forms, spreadsheets, and drawings which can be created within Google Docs or uploaded from another source, such as Microsoft Word. Then, the teacher creates a new folder within her Google Docs account and places all documents in the folder. Renaming each document to begin with a number to identify its place in the sequential order of the writing process is highly recommended to assist the students in determining the order in which to open the documents. Next, the teacher selects the option to share the folder by publishing it and creating a link.
The teacher shares the folder with her students by publishing the link to the folder. The students open the folder to view and copy the documents to a folder within their Google Docs account. The students manipulate the content of each document, such as viewing a presentation, completing steps on an outline, or filling out a form. The students collect their work in personal Google Docs folders, which include numbered titles mirroring the teachers’ document titles. Then, the students share their entire folder with the teacher by providing her email account which invites her to become a collaborator to the folder.
Adopt or Adapt
Creating shared Google Docs folders to teach the writing process can be easily adopted for usage in any technology based or blended classrooms.
The process can also be adapted to be used with other content. Teachers can create shared folders for any unit, activity, or process.
By increasing the quantity of forms used within this process, students can also submit work by providing a link to each completed document. Then, all students’ links will appear in one spreadsheet, which can be viewed and modified by the teacher and/or other students.
Format adapted from:
Patti, S. (2007). The Online Learning Idea Book: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning. Washington D.C.: Pfeiffer.