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Month: March, 2014

Google Docs; the collaborator

Google is one of the all-around great forces of the online world. Their grasp ranges from the original search engine to youtube; somewhere in the middle of that lies Google docs. This platform is perfect for classroom work of a collaborative nature, both in and out of the classroom. Its main benefits, being an online resource, obviously lie in its uses outside of the classroom. However, it can be used with great efficiency inside the class as well.

Google docs share a common online document with the members who are granted access to it. All members can modify or add on to the document simultaneously. This is wonderful for brainstorming. Typically, one student will be the “secretary” of the team and have to write down notes for the whole team, one idea at a time. In this case, all can add their own ideas by themselves, without stalling a teammate’s progress or flow of ideas. Also, you don’t have to make a mess of your idea sheet by physically erasing bad ideas and leaving stains on your papers.

(5 ways to use google docs in the classroom)

You can see what is being written instantaneously. Not only that, but you can also see who is writing. There is an option which allows you to associate a color with a teammate so his contributions will be in his color, making it easy to recognize who says what. In this way, it can become a chat room of sorts. You can also draw in the document as you would on a normal sheet, only much cleaner.

Obviously, being an online tool, its main asset lies in its ease of access. Students can all work on the same document from home while remaining in contact one with another. You can share thoughts and ideas in the document at any time, by-passing the hindrance  of schedules have on work rate.

(50 little known ways google docs can help in education)

 

icame, isaw, ipad

The ipad is one of the newest class members in schools across the world. However, this does not mean its acceptance is without resistance. New technologies are often ignored or feared (to a certain degree) by more traditional teachers who already have their routine well established. One of the reasons for this is the lack of knowledge; the lack of education. It would not be all that unlikely for students to be more accustomed to these new technologies than the teachers themselves. For instance, many younger kids are very well versed in the mysterious ways of the ipad. Luckily, there exists the internet. There are tons of websites and resources out there to help initiate us not only to the ipad, but to its application in a scholarly setting. (ipad in the classroom)

The risks are worth the rewards. There are many beneficial aspects to installing the ipad as a norm inside the classroom. First of all, it is far easier to carry than 10 different notebooks and an endless sea of sheets. The ipad is a great condenser. It centralizes all of the students’s notes in one place; binders are replaced by virtual folders. Electronic copies of your notes are also much safer than paper form. You can save them using programs such as dropbox or simply by sending them to yourself via e-mail. Furthermore, note sharing is also made less strenuous. A student can instantly have as many copies of his notes as he wants to share with his teammates, for instance. (much more eco-friendly as well.)

By getting kids used to newer technologies they will most likely have to keep up with in their future workplace, you simultaneously have them discover the many benefits of the online world. The internet is the new world wide library, making research much easier. You can also teach students by guiding them in their research, making sure to steer them away from undesired content and teaching them how to successfully navigate the web in the most efficient and purposeful way.

The novelty of the ipad in the classroom will be stimulating to the students who have grown bored of the standard paper form work and exercises. This is a new platform for them to express their creativity, enabling them to search and discover themselves in new ways.

Furthermore, the ipad contains a slew of interactive and educational games, apps and activities. (20 Great Classroom iPad Apps to add to your Collection) These can be offered as rewards since they are games, all the while having the students learn and keeping them immersed in an educative environment.

And just in case you still weren’t convinced, here’s some more!

 (50 resources for iPad use in the classroom)