More than ever, students must develop effective writing skills, keeping in mind that the purpose of writing is most often for an audience. Some writers write for the purpose of self-expression, but most of us wish to write for an audience, reaching out to others in clear and effective ways.
Correspondence writing has always been important in order to keep people connected. Today, correspondence writing happens largely through the internet, using social media, e-mail, and document attachments.
Our students must learn effective writing practices reflecting 21st century norms.
How One Teacher Uses Google Docs in the Classroom
Tch Teaching Channel offers a wide variety of videos which highlight exemplary teaching practices in action. One great video I viewed is called, Google Docs in the Classroom, and demonstrates how Sarah Brown Wesling uses Google Docs to guide her students through the collaborative writing process.
Using Google Docs, groups of students have access to a shared document, and write simultaneously to meet the goals or criteria set out by the classroom teacher.
Participants take part in a highly collaborative process, where students engage in conversation, conscious that their writing must come together as a cohesive whole by the end of the assignment.
Ms. Brown Wesling describes a variety of benefits to using Google Docs in the classroom. She is able to teach students how to take advantage of technology’s capacity to link ideas among individuals. She uses the “Comment Editor Feature” to provide feedback to students which they use to make changes to their work, eliminating the need to print multiple rough drafts for all members of the group.Furthermore, Brown Wesling is able to observe students in the creative writing process, giving immediate feedback as she walks around the classroom. Of course, if students are unable to finish their assignments at school, they are easily able to write in the same collaborative manner at home.
What is also evident is that Ms. Brown Wesling has established an environment of critical thinking, where students can contribute either in oral classroom discussion, or for those who are more reserved, by writing directly in Google Docs.
If you are interested in using Google Docs for collaborative writing, I highly recommend you view this video.
This video originally appeared on Teaching Channel and can be found by clicking here.