The reasons listed above are enough to convince anyone to use this online tool, but the biggest reason I love Google Drive is for collaboration purposes. We emphasize teaching our students the"4Cs" of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking and expect them to demonstrate those skills. Therefore, we should embrace those same principles as educators and model these essential skills. To me, collaboration is vital to function as an educator today.
Here are some recent ways I have collaborated with others by using Google Drive:
--Collaborate on a presentation remotely: Everyone has a busy schedule. I recently collaborated with a fellow PLN member and friend (See this blog post for more info.) Though establishing in-person meeting times was a challenge for us, we were both able to work on the presentation when our own individual schedules allowed. We were able to map out our ideas, build content into slides, and post comments to each other about our work. Sometimes questions were posed, while compliments were paid at other times. The end result was a unique and powerful presentation that we both contributed to. Individually, we could have created a great presentation, but when we joined forces and collaborated, the quality was raised.
--Grade levels use it for planning purposes. Our third and fourth grade teams at Irwin create a weekly planning template to help us share ideas and strategies, and collaboratively write lesson plans. Each of us have editing powers and can add to the document throughout the week. Once we get to planning, our time is spent discussing the specifics of lessons created, asking clarifying questions, and focusing on how we will teach, rather than what will be taught. Additionally, we have multiple shared files where we can drop resources for all to see.
--Collaborate on a presentation while in the same room: My school has two Academic Facilitators and both of us work closely together on multiple tasks.We recently collaborated to create a presentation to share with our PTA's Executive Board. Instead of hovering over one computer while one of us made changes, we could discuss it and simultaneously work on the presentation to make necessary edits, thus maximizing our time together. I always get a kick out of seeing changes made by others in real time!
--Use it to create forms and share form responses with others: I could probably write an entire post on the many uses of Google Forms! Google Forms are simple to make, provide you with a quick and easy way to gather information, can be embedded into websites, and have multiple uses. Recently, our school's Magnet Coordinator and I combined our efforts to complete an electronic way for our Open House visitors to sign in--a Google Form! We could both edit the form to be sure it contained the information we wanted to collect from our prospective families and visitors. More importantly, we can both view the results of the form and use that data to help us reflect on our recruiting efforts.
--Use it for project planning: In addition to my work at Irwin, I have a part-time gig with our district's Teacher Professional Development Department, which I love! I am the district's Networking Coordinator and the girl "behind the scenes" of our growing PLN. Coordinating busy schedules is challenging and it is not always possible for me to connect with my colleagues in the department face-to-face. Google Drive has been a godsend! We have created an entire folder devoted to our work with the PLN and the different projects we are working on. Resources and materials are quickly dropped in and shared so we can keep each other in the loop on project progress and share new things we have learned with one another. Sometimes we connect through a combination of a phone call and Google Drive. We have a document where we can simultaneously record and capture the details of our meeting notes and identify our next steps to help communicate our progress to others in the department. Collaboration is a beautiful thing!
These are just a few examples of collaborating with colleagues via Google Drive. Now, collaborating is easier than ever!
The possibilities for collaborating are endless! How are YOU using Google Drive to collaborate? How do you encourage your students to collaborate via Google Drive?