Thursday, October 14, 2010

Google Docs Templates

I use Google Docs templates to distribute customizable copies of documents to my students and share with coworkers.  I discovered this feature while trying to figure out how to create online vocabulary cards to correspond with a year-round, district-wide vocabulary program.  Now, all of my freshmen keep their vocabulary cards on their blogs instead of clinging to a metal ring in their backpacks.  My JCCS Academic Vocabulary Card template is available at:  

How to Use a Google Docs Presentation Template with Students

Teacher builds blank template Google Docs.
·         Add a place for the student to insert his/her name.
·         Add instructions of how to duplicate additional blank slides.
Teacher publishes template to Google Docs Template Gallery.
·         Place template in Students and Teachers category.
·         Write a purpose and/or instructions in the description.
·         Use identifying words in the title and description.
Teacher shares link to template with students.
·         Post a link on the classroom blog or wiki.
·         Use a URL shortener, such as
Student downloads and customizes the template.
·         Remind students to rename the document with an appropriate title.
Student adds content during lessons.
·         Teach students to add images, use spell check, and adjust font sizes.
Student publishes personalized presentation with embed code.
·         If the presentation will be added to over time, place it in stagnant location on his/her blog or website.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Integrate a Wiki into a Training - Just an Idea

I created this for an assignment, but I figure it could be useful to someone considering incorporate a wiki into a training.  If I ever get a chance to facilitate a training, I'll try it out myself. :) 

How to Integrate a Wiki into a Training

1.    Use a wiki with the staff planning the training.  After briefly helping the team to understand the concept of a wiki, help each person create an account.  Then, plan the agenda for the training on a wiki.

2.    On an overhead projector, share the agenda page of the wiki with the attendees.  Provide the web address of the wiki to all attendees and encourage them to access it through laptops and smartphones throughout the training. 
3.    As content is being presented and discussed, have at least two members of the training team record notes on the wiki.  By viewing this on the screen, the participants will be able to observe the editing process.
4.    Later in the training, distribute laptops.  Quickly teach participants to create a wiki account and join the training wiki as editors; use training team as roaming tutors.
5.    Break the participants into small groups.  Assign each group to collaboratively edit a pre-scaffolded wiki page focused on a topic relevant to the training, such as plans, ideas, goals, resources, etc. 
6.    When all pages are complete, allow all participants to explore and contribute to the entire wiki.
7.    Encourage participants to continue using the wiki after the training.

8.    In a week, send an email to all participants encouraging them to visit and edit the wiki.
9.    At later trainings, provide time to edit old content and repeat the same collaborative contribution routine as new ideas are discussed.

Students:  How could you use a wiki for a club or team meeting?

Adults: Have you ever used a wiki with a training?  Do participants really use it outside of the meeting?