It is my belief that one of the essential skills students need to develop is the ability to collaborate with other students.
More businesses and schools are turning to Google as their provider of office software. There are many reasons for this. One of the most important is that Google allows the user to collaborate with others in real time. No more lost USB drives and no more confusion as to which is the most up to date version.
A couple of posts ago, we started a series on Google Spreadsheet and how to use it in the classroom to help motivate and engage your students. One of the aspects of Google that makes it such a great tool for student engagement is the ability for students to collaborate in real time. Once a document is set up, a student can share that document with the other group members by simply adding in their email address. The other students in the group receive an email with the unique URL of that document and are then able to log in securely and collaborate on that document.
What I love most about Google is that each student can access this document at any time from any location so long as they have an internet connection. This solves the headache of forming groups that work on a task over several lessons. Inevitably during that time one student will forget their USB drive, or the student who has saved the work under their username on the school network is away and productivity is lost. All the work done in Google Docs is also immediately saved on each of their individual dashboards and is time stamped so you can see if they really did attempt the work you set for them.
I have created a short video below that shows you step by step how to create documents using Google and how to share a document securely with others so that you can collaborate in real time.
If you would like to purchase the complete Guide to using Google spreadsheets in your classroom you can do so below.