I found Barrett’s blog Tips for introducing Online Collaboration very helpful. The documentation of his observations and implementations create a strong foundation for moving ahead with using Google Docs as a technology resource and a collaboration tool. I have been calling on other teacher colleagues and found they are not using the resource. Mostly it is because of the timing and training issues.
I appreciated Barrett’s responses. He seemed to anticipate the students’ apprehensions to work with the new technology, but came across to me as he was surprised that student found it a new concept they should be working together in groups.
Barrett’s comment about all groups of children will respond differently about working in groups, is a true. I felt it tied in with different generational learners. It is a reminder to teachers that students come from diverse backgrounds.
Barrett has shared several good points, which would be easy to implement following are two:
1. Have students model or demonstrate to the class how working together/collaboratively will look.
2. Creating a large grid with a spreadsheet and have student select a cell to enter their name. Students would then write something about themselves next to their name. The grid created a visual for student about the class, which they could see they were a part of the class. This was a very powerful example.