Improve Writing Skills Using Digital Writing and Google Docs
Leveraging the power of technology to transform teaching and learning
My toolkit is filled with interactive graphics I’ve created and packed with resources. I use these to successfully jump start the learning of busy educators in places near and far. I frequently update and adapt the resources in my toolkit. They grow with me.
I will be sharing some of my favorite ThingLink Powered PD resources during a webinar on Tuesday, September 23rd at 8:00 PM EDT. Dan Gallagher will be providing assistance as our webinar moderator so I can share what I’ve created clearly and efficiently for participants to enjoy.
I hope you will join our next ThingLink Webinar to explore my Toolkit of ThingLink Powered PD Resources. Can’t make the live broadcast? Sign up and receive the archived video.
Would you like to improve your students’ writing skills and help them bridge the gap between writing in school and writing in the real world?
One way of doing so is by using digital writing and Google Docs, the documents editor available in Google Drive. Since Google Docs is collaborative and available 24/7, students using Google Docs often write more frequently and better than when given traditional paper and pencil writing tasks.
Join me and Simple K 12 for a online event and learn how to use Google Docs to thoughtfully incorporate digital writing into the curriculum. We will explore ways to fully utilize the latest Google Docs features to help you and your students embrace digital writing.
Good news! This webinar is one of 6 webinars offered throughout the day during Simple K-12’s free online event on August 9, 2014.
Google Docs Add-Ons are new tools created by 3rd party developers that add functionality to Google Docs. Users can access and search for Add-Ons through the menu bar in any Google Doc or Spreadsheet. There are many handy tools to Add-On to Google Docs to improve efficiency and help get work done, and there is even a section for education. Here are a three of my favorite Add-Ons, which I believe are well-suited for teachers and students.
Read more on GettingSmart.com
If you open a Google Doc or Spreadsheet you will find a new option in the menu bar named Add-Ons. An Add-On is a way to add functionality to Docs and Sheets through integration with 3rd party apps. It’s similar to the Google Chrome Apps store.
There are many useful tools to Add-On to Google Docs to improve the efficiency of working in Google Docs. You’ll find Add-Ons to help you get your own work done, and also for use in the classroom.
To grab an Add-On, select the Get add-ons… option from the Google Docs menu bar on any Document or Sheet. You will be taken to the Add-ons store where you will find many useful Add-Ons to choose from.
Many of the Add-Ons are well suited for the type of work teachers and students do, such as Hello Sign for utilizing electronic signatures, and Table of Contents. With so many Add-Ons to install and explore I decided to narrow the results and take a closer look a Add-Ons labeled for education. At the time of this writing, there are three.
I enjoyed presenting the Infinitec webinar today and truly appreciate all the attendees! Here is a link to the interactive slideshow with resources.
The final webinar in this series will be held on December 3rd at 4:00 PM CST. SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core. The webinar is free and registration is open to all.
|Read on Edudemic|
I was excited to see my Google Docs Glog featured in a post by Jeff Dunn on Edudemic last month. This morning it has been getting some attention on Facebook and Twitter, so I thought it would be a good idea to direct the readers of this blog to the post, 12 Effective Ways to Use Google Drive in Education.
I’ve received some requests for the link to the live glog through my PLN, so I’ve embedded it here. If you’re looking for more Google Docs resources, be sure to check out my Google Docs page on this blog or attend one of my upcoming webinars.
Many thanks to Jeff for sharing this resource!
The Common Core Standards identify six instructional shifts necessary for effective implementation of the ELA/Literacy strand. These instructional shifts provide a framework to help us understand the big picture before diving into the specific individual standards.
CCSS Shift 5, Writing from Sources, calls for an emphasis on analyzing and synthesizing information from multiple sources to reach a conclusion or make an argument. This type of writing requires students to construct knowledge through research and present evidence that is accurate, precise and clear. Regularly engaging students in this type of writing will foster the development of essential skills to help them succeed in college and beyond.
An essential question can be a very effective tool for guiding research and tapping into students’ enthusiasm for inquiry and learning. These questions provide students with challenges that allow them to invest in the learning process as they make decisions about their own learning. Since essential questions do not have one correct answer, students can choose flexible learning paths to find success and demonstrate learning.
A topic like this could send students on searches that lead them to questionable websites. A traditional work around might be to publish a list of acceptable websites for students, but perhaps a better solution is to create a Goggle Custom Search Engine for use with this type of project.
Searching involves critical thinking and it is an important skill that needs to be taught. The Goggle Custom Search Engine Tool allows teachers to easily build your own search engine that is customized with content you choose to be appropriate for your grade level or for a particular unit of study, This tool provides teachers with the ability to bring relevant and reliable sources into the classroom while also teaching students how to conduct a search and it can be embed into any blog, wiki, or site for easy access.
|Explore this Interactive Image, created with ThingLink
Google Docs is truly one of my favorite tools for teaching and learning because of the features it offers to support research, writing and collaboration in the 24/7 classroom. Here are some things to try with Google Docs as you make plans to use a little more tech and embrace change this school year.
“Today’s young people are using a range of digital tools to compose and create in new and exciting ways. It is a game-changing moment for teachers of writing. The very notion of what it means to write is shifting, and educators are faced with adapting their teaching practices to integrate new technologies while redefining writing and learning for the 21st century.”
Google Docs provide teachers with a great starting point for helping students develop 21st century writing skills because they are collaborative, available 24/7, and stored in the cloud. The tool is well-suited for facilitating digital writing workshops that combine peer editing with cooperative grouping and small group fine-tuned writing instruction. Here are some of the powerful writing features:
Sharing and Commenting
Sharing and commenting options provide students with opportunities to receive immediate feedback on their writing from teachers and peers in the 24/7 classroom. Student can write, edit, revise, collaborate and share one copy of a live document, providing them with the resources and opportunities to significantly improve their writing. Students can collaborate in real time, creating opportunities for virtual mini-conferences. Of course, students are more likely to revisit their work if they know someone else will be commenting on it and they are more likely to edit their writing if they have the opportunity to publish it for an audience.
Integrated Writing & Reference Tools