One great way to use Google Apps to help your class communicate
As announced last week, ESU has equipped students and faculty with some of the Google Apps suite of tools. So how can they help you?
Well one tool, Google Drive, can help your students communicate with you and can help them collaborate with each other in ways that can streamline some procedural classroom processes and can eliminate a lot of the frequent headaches that come with distance education group work.
- Share spreadsheets and forms with students, which allow them to easily sign up for meeting times or call “dibs” on a research topic
- Create surveys or self-graded assignments that report results into a spreadsheet
- Eliminate the problem of having multiple versions of a report floating around. Everyone in a group can edit the same online document. Nobody needs to compile the versions into one “official” version to turn in.
- Students are able to chat online while editing the documents, so they can communicate about the changes being made. This is a spectacular capability for distance students who normally have to wait hours or days for feedback from each other.
- Track the changes in each document, so you can see which students made which changes. You can hold each student in a group accountable for his or her individual productivity.
To help you get started, I’ve made a tutorial video on the basics of using Google Drive… creating or uploading a Google document, collaborating with a partner, and tracking the changes.