Google Docs has been around for a few years, and it didn’t take long for the education world to harness this powerful tool. With its ability to save as you type and the ability to collaboratively write, Google Docs was a student AND teacher’s dream. But when we started our 1:1 initiative with iPads at the high school level, Google Docs was the biggest thorn in my side. But not anymore.
Playing with the Big Boys…
Google Docs for your laptop or PC is powerful. But when the iPad boomed in popularity, people soon realized that they couldn’t utilize the same Google Docs features on the iPad. It was a feeling as if you couldn’t play or hangout with your older sibling, a sense of being inferior. Slowly, but surely, Google has continued to enhance their Google Drive app for the iPad, allowing users to harness some of the same useful features. Now the iPads in our high school 1:1 program can hang with the big boys.
The Writing Process…
In my Creative Writing class, we are beginning to draft our short stories. But this year I am able to have the students do something with their iPads that they have never been able to do before – COMMENT! In years past a student would simply draft their story and not receive comments until the end when we do peer reviews. But now, with an update to Google Drive, students follow these steps:
Begin pulling in elements from our free writing activities that may fit together in the 7 elements of short story fiction.
- Once the brainstorming is done, begin drafting.
- Then at the end of every class that week, the student shares their draft with a different student who will read what they have so far and provide comments.
- The original author can view these comments or suggestions as they continue drafting to see if they need help clarifying and taking the story in another direction. They can then “Resolve” the comment or “Reply” back to the reviewer.
- The students love this process so far and have started to understand how to leave meaningful comments that can actually help the author.