Welcome back to my blog!
In this week’s blog post, I wanted to talk about another great tool: Google Doc.
Google Drive is a large tool that can do a lot of things!!! You can create Google Doc, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Drawing and Google Maps. PC Magazine summarized Google Drive functions like so: the most impressive services for creating, editing, saving, syncing, and collaborating on documents. For today’s blog post topic, I want to focus on Google Doc.
In some of my university classes, I had to learn to use Google Doc, which is really easy. All you need is a gmail account and knowledge about Microsoft Word. I did not really use it before, but I wish I had! I think that it is a tool that can be used for many purposes in an ESL classroom or for any academic purposes. I will talk about the different ways that I have experimented Google Doc has a student as well as some ways that I think can be interesting for teachers.
The main point that I like about Google Doc for ESL classrooms is the cooperative touch you can add to any projects. The word ‘cooperative’ is really important. Everyone (the students, the teacher and the peers) can contribute to the task.
First of all, Good Doc is a great tool for teamwork. This is mainly what I use it for. You can create a document and share it with your partners. Each member of the team has access to the document and can edit it from anywhere. Partners do not have to meet at one place to do a project. They can just all add their part of the work on the main document and see what the others have done. Teammates can also add comments on parts or sentences they do not agree on or things they want to discuss. It is also possible to add the teacher to the document. The teacher can give feedbacks and comments about the text. I think that this tool is incredible for teachers. As an ESL teacher, you can use it for many different purposes. For example, students can do a writing project in teams, students can also do peer review, the class can do a big brainstorm all together about the subject of the next debate. If teachers want to have the document posted somewhere else, students can export it in many standard file formats and hand it in to the teacher (.doc, .rtf, .pdf, and so on).
Richard Byrne explains on his blog, Free Technology for Teachers, how he uses Google Doc and I though it was really interesting. He hosts discussions on a Google Doc. He posts a text and adds reflection questions at the end. Students can write their opinions and respond to other students’ comments. I think that it is a really good writing exercise.
It is also possible for teachers to share documents, but not give the students any editing functions. The teacher can post a document for students to consult only. The teacher that has a class in a computer lab can give access to the document to students and they can all easily follow the teacher.
Teachers can also create a document where they can post grades. To keep everything confidential, the teacher can use the students’ ID number instead of their names. Once again, the teacher can only activate the viewing option. That way, the teacher can have one document with all the grades that students can consult at any moment and always see the updated version of the document without always having to upload a new version.
To read about more ways to use Google Doc in the classroom, you can click here.
It is also a great tool because you have access to your documents everywhere you go. There is also an app for mobile devices that allows you to work on your documents from many places. In my first blog post, I talked about the positive sides to have a website or an educational content management system for ESL classrooms. Google Doc is a good one that is free and easy to use.
Any negative points?
PC Magazine brought up one negative point that I had not thought about: “it’s a Google product, and by the transitive property of privacy fears, many suspect their data will not be kept safe and secret.” I do not think that it should stop teachers using Google Doc. Google has, according to the DMR website, 425 million users. I think that it is a safe tool to use for small-scale purposes.
– You can download the Google Docs app here.
– For Android here.
– To consult the website click here.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog post.
I have many great topics coming up in the next following weeks, such as Class Dojo.
I will see you next week!