As a planning platform I couldn’t think of anything more accessible or flexible than our Google Docs platform here at school.
We started off the PYP Exhibition Unit with a whole grade instruction session on how and what we were going to be doing in Google Docs. Each group had one person stay behind with me and set up the group collection and share it appropriately with their group members, mentor, homeroom teacher and myself.
Once created each group member was responsible for sharing each of their documents and resources they gathered in the first few weeks of the exhibition.
Students were reminded to consistently name their documents so they could be easily retrievable. Untitled documents were not appropriate titles!
Teachers and mentors could monitor and facilitate a number of different ways using Google Docs. Firstly, they could email all the students easily by clicking on the collection and choosing “Email Collaborators”.
Secondly, they could add comments to the actual documents themselves. Students were constantly reminded to check back into the documents they created to look for feedback.
There was a lot of accountability with a very visible interpretation of which group members were doing what and in the one instance where it happened we were able to roll back in the revision history and see who deleted a whole bunch of text. Discussions could then be had within the group about how to tackle this sort of incident again and how to improve communications between the group members
As it was the Grade 5 teacher’s first foray into Google Docs in this manner (actually first foray ever) we learned a lot of things to improve on for next school year; more emphasis on Google Docs etiquette and creating an overall timeline throughout the unit of what Google Docs should be used for and when.