Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Google Suite by Bryan Kopp

If I had to pick a favorite technology, I would have to go with the Google Suite. Though the products are familiar, instructors are not always aware how they can combine them to meet their needs. Here is an example of one of my attempts to coordinate group learning, writing and critical thinking:
  1. I created a Google site for a class project. 
  2. This site contained a page within which there was an embedded Google presentation (which could also be posted in D2L).
  3. Within the presentation there was rich content, including an embedded YouTube video and step by step instructions.
  4. One of the tasks included a link to a Google form that enabled students to share the results of some research they had conducted.
  5. After sharing their results, they could click on a link on the next slide, which led them to a Google spreadsheet that provided near real-time submissions from the whole class. 
  6. After reviewing them, they could then move to the next step: discerning patterns, trends and anomalies across all submissions.They did this in a shared Google document. Students could see what others were writing (avoiding redundancy) and insert comments to discuss responses. 
  7. This document then served as a group memory that enabled more advanced work in future class sessions. 
This sounds complicated, but students just clicked through some slides and completed some tasks. In such assignment modules, I try to select and sequence the right tools for the job at hand. When everything works, it is amazing how much progress can be made. When Google is unreachable, well, that's another story!

Submitted by Bryan Kopp, English/CATL