Friday, May 29, 2009

Thing # 18 - Online Productivity Tools

I'm cheating on this one. I freely admit it. I already use Google Docs so I'm writing about it. One of the benefits is (since I don't have a Teacher Laptop) I don't have to download anything.

I've used Google Docs to collect data during GT professional development. We were brainstorming things that are "sticky" and I had multiple recorders who recorded the brainstormed answers into a spreadsheet. From there we could categorize them and manipulate them electronically instead of on butcher paper.

We're using Google Docs in the High Gifted Program Task Force. We're doing a book study on High IQ Kids. I created a book notes document so the group can create collaborated notes. Each person can edit the document an add the points they think are important. The document helps to structure the thinking a little bit. We're also using it to post information we're gathing about existing programs.

I'm thinking that a wiki might be useful because all of this could be housed in one place. But I like Google Docs for the book notes because we can print that and format it for printing a little easier than in a wiki.

I think Google Docs is awesome for kids. I wish I remembered where I saw it - probably in an earlier "Thing" or a link I navigated to having started from a "Thing" - but kids were collaboratively writing with buddy across the pond. They used Skype and web cams to do face to face discussion when they were all in the shared documents. They also updated the documents in turns. Each used a different color to track their contributions. It was a great. It was a video on the web somewhere. I'll have to look for it.

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