Ok… I’m really excited! I just got finished my KHS class where we met with our groups for our Group Dance Presentation. One of my group members suggested that we all get a google account (if we don’t already have one) and create a document on GoogleDocs where we can work on our project — AT THE SAME TIME! When there are five people in a group and not everyone is (well-)aquainted, a GoogleDoc will be extremely helpful!
During our first meeting, we also added each other into our contact lists on our phones (Darryl and I “scanned barcodes” on our Blackberries), and agreed to add each other to a Facebook group where we can communicate, as well as share videos and photos that we may stumble across. This was the best, and most beneficial use of technology I’ve every experienced with a group!
During my internship, Lumsden Elementary started using GoogleDocs for “housekeeping” items like milk orders and hot lunch orders. It worked really well because all of the staffmembers could access and edit the pages at the same time. I was able to see GoogleDocs in a professional setting that worked really well. The way that we use GoogleDocs in Ecmp 355 works really well also, where we all collaborate on notes and ideas that will be quite beneficial in our first years as teachers, and beyond!
Our group’s decision to go the “technology route” in collaborating on a project really got me thinking of the ways in which these kinds of tools would benefit many of our elementary and secondary school students. It works really well for University students, given the often conflicting schedules that tend to occur. One thing that was really evident in my internship was how busy kids are! Some days, my grade 7 students would come to school looking like they had been at a party until 4am the night before! I learned that they had played hockey in a town an hour away at 8:30pm, getting them home at around 1:00 in the morning! (As an aside: I, as an adult, would never be able to survive sitting in my desk the next day, muchless a growing 12-year old child!) This just reiterates the fact that kids have busier schedules than a lot of adults, and group projects (especially when it spills into homework) can be ridiculously difficult! There is also a large concern with bus students, as meeting with a group after school hours may be impossible if they have no alternate way to get home. I believe that part of our jobs as educators is to make our students aware of tools and programs like this, which will definitely make their lives much easier, and more entertaining, even if they are only collaborating with their “same old” classmates in their “regular old” school.