Student collaboration is key when facilitating classroom environments that are student-centric and rich in 21st-century learning experiences. With the myriad of educational technology resources available, it is easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a tool to support digital collaboration amongst students. Fortunately, for students and teachers in the Park Hill School District, we have immediate access to an incredible suite of tools that can quickly and easily enhance learning experiences. That tool is Google Apps for Education.
A few years ago, the Park Hill School District decided to integrate Google Apps for Education. This robust suite of digital collaboration tools is always evolving and changing to incorporate new tools and resources. In short, students are able to share documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more in a way that allows for real-time editing. This can be a real game changer as it allows students to collaborate across classrooms, buildings, states, and even nations. It easily breaks down the walls of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom to extend learning beyond the confines of the physical school building and traditional learning hours.
Quickly gaining popularity, teachers K-12 are incorporating this tool within daily instruction. One common question that teachers have, however, is how to effectively and efficiently share pre-created documents or templates with students. Prior to January of this year, the response was typically to create a template, “share” it with your students, have them “make a copy” to place on their own Google Drive, and then have them “share” that document with collaborating peers and back with the teacher for comments and feedback as well.
While this process was effective, it was often times cumbersome and inefficient when trying to maximize instructional time. Managing workflow and following student naming conventions from the teacher’s side could quite frankly be an absolute nightmare.
Doctopus, one of many Scripts now offered by Google, acts as a digital photocopier. It can easily copy any type of Google Docs to individual students, groups, or even the whole class with the click of a button. With ease, teachers can now differentiate instructional resources without students knowing the difference. From a management side, it creates well organized folders that allow the teachers quick and easy access to student work. If you are interested in trying this, follow the directions shared in this step-by-step PDF. Don’t hesitate to contact an ITF, should you need help!