This week, I introduced my class to gClass Folders. This is a great script from Google docs that enables the teacher to share documents with students via either an "edit" or a "view" folder. Additionally, there is an assignment folder for each student that work can easily be dragged into. Sounds easy-peasy, right?
More info here:
The only caveat is that my students don't know how to use Google Docs (I'm at a 1:1 campus!). So guess who gets to teach them? Me! Guess who gets really impatient when people can't get technology? Me! In my quest for greatness (again thanks to David Burgess), I embarked on the lesson of a lifetime.
OK, it went pretty well. There were some really frustrating moments (Ss putting qmail in lieu of gmail, not knowing their gmail, not checking their shared folder, etc), but in the end, it went really, really well. The lightbulb started coming on:
"Can we use this when we have presentations together?" YES!
"This works so much better than Word." YES!
"Wow! I can see all the changes and go back to any one I want?" YES!
We started with an "easy" assignment. Easy only in the part that they had done it freshman year many times. They created a prompt book using Creon's first speech from Antigone. It is a long-winded fifty line monologue. We cut it down to the 25 most important lines and add in stage directions and tone words. Oooh, sneaky close reading! More on this in my posts below.
The students liked how easy it was to collaborate with Google Docs and I liked getting a bit closer to a paperless classroom (we only have one really horrid copy machine).
I'm leaving this post with another of my favorite quotes by Dave Burgess. His book discusses how every teacher should aspire to be great because "in our profession, greatness is the ultimate act of unselfishness." Think about that one.
Blessed to be teaching,