Building Student Collaboration and Presentation Skills
The National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) created by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) state that students should be able to “use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively” (2008, para. 2). Several of the Google Apps found in Google Drive work great for building the skill set associated with this standard. The apps are structured in a way that being able to use one app can be generalized to the other apps similar to the programs found in the Microsoft Office suite. There are some features available in Microsoft Office that are not found in Google Apps like Docs and Slides. However, Google Apps is a much stronger tool for collaboration.
One way to maximize the collaborative qualities of Google Docs is by having students create group presentations with Google Slides. Rather than having students huddle around one computer or emailing files to each other possibly resulting in confusion over the most current version, students can work on a Slides presentation simultaneously in one place or separately at different locations. The latest presentation version will always be the one available as well.
Students can also take advantage of the comments section to communicate with each other if they want to. I have seen students use the comments feature to save resources for citation placement later.
Students can then use their presentation to demonstrate mastery of the Common Core Standard “Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations” (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2009, para. 2).
Teachers can decide to address other skills with these types of assessments also. They can require students to comment on the credibility of their sources in the comments section or write a brief explanation about why a particular slide or fact is included. This is worth mentioning since students often include as much information as possible rather than using the product as a tool to supplement what they are saying. It forces them to think about what they are including in their presentation as opposed to simply throwing everything they have in resulting in a bulky, boring, and ineffective product. Other options include using the collaborative features of Google Apps to allow for peer editing or as a way for the teacher to check student work as a type of formative assessment so issues can be identified and addressed before the final product is submitted.
Check out my blog post: Presentation Resources and Options for the Classroom when you get a chance. There are several presentation resources that you might like for use in your classroom.
Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2009). Common core state standards (Educational Standards). Retrieved from: http://www.corestandards.org/thestandards
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National educational technology standards for students (Educational Standards). Retrieved from iste: http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETSEssentialConditions.sflb.ahsx