Fostering Writing and Collaboration with Google Docs

Teaching ChannelHigh school English teacher, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares strategies for promoting collaborative writing inside and outside of the classroom. Wessling highlights that such lessons also promote digital etiquette, provide opportunities for teachers to provide rich feedback, and provide teachers with insights into the individual student’s or the collaborative group’s writing process.

An Introduction to Online Word Processing

(Repost from 12/04/2009)

This video provides a great overview of the concept of online productivity tools (word processor, presentations, spreadsheets) in under 3 minutes.

Click to take a look at Google Docs and Zoho Writer.

See this tutorial on collaborating with others with web applications like Google Docs.

Consider how these kinds of technologies could be integrated with teaching and learning and leave your ideas in the comments section below.

Office Productivity Tools

I’m Digging the Google Docs Redesign

I’ve been working a lot with Google’s many, many services the past several weeks in conjunction with various professional development workshops that I have/will be facilitating. In doing so, I’ve become a big fan of their products. I’ve especially been struck by their tools’ ease of use, deep integration among tools and services, and Google’s commitment to openness. I’m going to be saving a lot of money on software in the future as I migrate away from some of the expensive software giants that I’ve used for a long time and in lieu of Google’s free and similar/superior offerings.

In the past few days I’ve noticed that the new Google toolbar (the dark box across the top) has pretty much gone live across all the Google services I use. Google has never been known for their graphic design prowess, but I’d say the update is an improvement. I especially dig the redesign of the Google Docs interface.

Learn with Us (IDT7078)

As I mentioned in a recent blog post I’m teaching a seminar this summer focusing on Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 Technologies. I concluded the earlier post by sharing the following:

In keeping with the principles of Web 2.0 I encourage the participation of everyone with an interest or expertise in this topic. You may contribute to the discussion and fun by using the following tag/keyword: idt7078. Be on the lookout for ways (Ustream, Skype, Twitter, Plurk, etc.) to informally participate with us. I would certainly consider making it possible for those wishing to enroll in the course and participate from a distance, too.

Greg R. Fishbone replied to my earlier post and asked the following question regarding my concluding statements.

I’d love to participate informally, but how does one follow a keyword?

I think this is a GREAT a question and I suspect Greg is not the only one wondering about this. I’m sharing this information here in hopes of helping Greg and anyone else that may be interested in being part of our learning community this summer.

Google Keyword Search
You can add the following RSS feed to your aggregator (such as Google Reader or Bloglines). New blog posts, wiki entries, bookmarks, videos, podcasts, etc. tagged with idt7078 will then be “delivered” to you as they show up in Google.

An alternative to this strategy would be to setup a Google Alert for idt7078.

Twitter Search
You can also add a keyword search for idt7078 to TweetDeck or similar Twitter platform if you are using one. If not, then you can add the following RSS feed for the Twitter Search of the course tag to your aggregator.

Plurk Search
Add idt7078 to your list of Saved Searches in your profile’s dashboard.