Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Quest: Inspired!

Although there are many sites and tutorials available on the web, I have found "Ideas to Inspire" to be a great resource to view specific Web 2.0 tools and a variety of ideas to consider for a possible use with my gifted/talented students or a lesson in a library class situation.

Today I explored the site and found a slide presentation featuring the use of Google docs in the classroom. I realize Google docs has been available for some time now and it is a shame that I am just now working to find applications for my teaching situation, but I figure it's better late than never!

Some slides share specific uses and some share basic information. For example, slide #3 shows the number of people that can collaborate on a specific Doc type at one time. Just so you know, 50 people can contribute to a presentation while up to 100 can edit a document at the same time.

Slide #6 discusses the use of Word Count in a document which includes the Automated Readability Index. You could paste text into the document and then show your students the reading level of the specific text. Or you could use their own writing sample and then show possible editing options to increase the reading/grade level of the sample. This might be helpful when trying to encourage students to work on sentence structure and word choice when writing.

"Work smarter not harder" is a motto I am trying to incorporate into my daily living philosophy so it is good to know that Google doc offers templates to assist both teachers and students. Slide #12 explores the use of templates in the program.

I want to come back to explore Google forms (G forms) which is presented on slide #18. Students respond to questions/comments using a 1-5 format or an ABC option. Slide #24 also shares a way to use G forms to receive parent return slips as an electronic alternative--now that's interesting!

This slide presentation has provided me with several ideas to utilize in lessons and many areas where I need further explanation and reflection. I want to look into Assignment Tracker but not as intently as before now that I will be using Edmodo. I am still very interested in the collaboration possibilities of Google docs but need to consider how to assist and monitor students with that feature. And I am very intrigued with slide #20 on Dynamic Visualization. Hmmm . . . lots to think about!

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