Using googledocs in learning

This year, by imposing a gmail address for evey single one of my students, I was able to push my work with googledocs beyond the boundaries I had encountered previously.

googledocsI have been experimenting this year with working on Written Expression via googledocs and I think these following examples will speak for themselves.

Example 1 : Mélina (2nde)

My pupils in 2nde had a day out in September visiting a local medieval chateau (Chateau d’Harcourt) and as a writing exercise and practice of the simple past, I asked them to send me 5 sentences describing their day in Harcourt. The sentences had to be written in a googledoc and shared with me. Instructions, clear, precise and step by step, were provided via a googledoc  here. Here are Mélina’s  sentences as she sent them to me :

We did some drawing the Harcourt castle with Antoine and Laura.

We measure the ties with Tristan, Tom, Kévin, Elena and Laura.

We visiting the castle with Juliane, Elena, Laura, and Blandine.

We walking in the green street with Eleonore  Tracy and Emanuelle.

This was built up gradually to :

We did some drawing the Harcourt castle with Laura and Antoine.

We mesured the the tries with Laura, Elane, Tristan, Tom and Kévin.

We visited the castle whith Juliane, Laure, Elena and Blandine.

We walked in the green street with Tracy, Eleonore and Emanuelle.

We return at the highschool by bus with Emanuelle..

In a series of exchanges through the shared googledoc, we were able to work on specific points that were applicable directly to Melina’s linguistic needs. The final document that she submitted on the deadline day is below :

On Tuesday 11 of  September, we went to the castle of Harcourt for our first  Firstly, we had to measure the trees of the arboretum of the domain,with Laura and Antoine, wich three gardener Delamarre, Michaux and Pépin have to realise, Then, we visited the castle of the domain with Laura, Elena, Blandine and Pauline.

At around midday, we went in the tents for reconstruct four poems which were in fragments, after we ate our pic-nick. Finally we did some drawing the different parts of the castle, one by groups, then we made the photo of our class.

This day was cool and funny because we have shared good moments with the class and our professors.

The complete process and exchanges between Melina and myself over the period of time are visible here. Exchanging comments in this way is no more time-consuming than marking a pile of papers and I am convinced it is so much more effective for the pupils as it is truly tailored to their individual needs. The end result is not perfect, but it is a far cry from the original four sentences and, as you can see from the exchanges, it was Mélina’s work.
newspaperFinally, once the article had been completed, the pupils used an online article generator to produce their texts as a front page story and once it was printed out, these were handed in to the teacher for final assessment. In my mark scheme, I allocated marks for the number and the quality of the exchanges throughout the period and also for the final result, but it has to be said, if the exchanges go well, the final result is of little import because all the work is being done beforehand.
The pupils said that they liked working in this way and they found the personal approach motivating. It was a success for all the pupils in my class of 2nde.
Example 2 : Xavier Terminale STI2D
In Terminale, it was a little more challenging to get the pupils to sign up to my system and some, I freely admit, never rose to the challenge and so did not gain the benefits from it. Xavier was a quiet and shy student in a class of 27 strong characters (all male apart from one girl). He never answered questions in class and I was unaware of his interest in English until we began to work on a googledocs essay. Using this format, Xavier was really able to express himself without fear of reaction from other pupils and by the end of the year, he was asking me for titles and for permission to try a 400 word essay (!!!)..

In your opinion, do you think that there is too much money in the football industry ?

XAVIER

In my opinion, there is a lot of money in the football industry. In the first time, the salary of

football man is very important (approximatively 20 billions / year). Player of this sport will win very lot of money, but this salary is too important because this sport comprise to kick on the balloon, and run after. Next, the budget used for this sport is very important; between the construction of stade, and formation of different staff / direction member. This money can be used on the malnutrition of young african people, or education of South country. 

Final version after exchanges :

In my opinion, there is a lot of money in the football industry. I’ll will explain my opinion; First, the salary of soccer man is very important (approximatively 20 billions $ / year). In more of this salary, they are a lot of sponsors can be used football to grow rich (they implant their logo on shirt of soccer man). As the match can see by lot of people, this supporter see the logo, and mark which has its logo on a shirt has a great deal of publicity. Who say publicity say money, lot of money. This money can be used to save young african boy, for example reduced the “famine”, or to educate the African (or poor) people. In more of that, young African is trafficking, because they are transported to France for a training that they will never have. Because of that, young African people are more poor, and agent who lie to people has became a little more rich. Next, player of this sport will win very lot of money, but this salary is too important because this sport comprise to kick on the ball, and run after. Finally, the budget used for this sport is very important; between the construction of stadium, and formation of different staff / direction member. The problem with this money is used for nothing because they are an unique match inside, but after, this stadium is deserted, and will never used again, or almost used again. For an example, the stadium who built specially for olympic game 2012 can be used again almost they are used for championship, or concert, festival. As a matter of fact, can be used for a big or a special event. To conclude, I say they are so much money of football industry, and for correct this, solution is help poor country, for her development for example.

All this was done in utmost discretion and without any reactions from classmates. They only saw the final mark when I returned the final printed version. And the look on his face said it all.

Ideas for future uses of googledocs

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