My Google Dream Came True!

This week marked the first time in my teaching career that I was able to integrate Google Drive into a classroom assignment! And not just one assignment, but two!

The first was writing a short paragraph about the Liberty Bell, which they had to "dress up" with stronger verbs, quality adjectives, adverbs, and a variety of clauses. Second, they began writing their very own fables, telling moral stories of simple life lessons.

After initially writing them by hand in their writing notebooks, we journeyed to the computer lab. Here, they typed them into new documents on Google Drive using their brand new Google Apps accounts. I realized how little my students knew It was a great opportunity to review the basics of formatting a word processor, and we ended up having a few impromptu lessons about double-spacing, alignment, italicizing, font type, size, and more.

Then, once they were finished typing their assignments, I taught them the wonders of Google Drive. The magic of sharing to each other, writing comments, permissions, and many other joys that I have come to adore over the years of cloud computing. The classroom came to life! They were sharing their writing with one another, giving suggestions, editing grammar, and using technology in collaborative ways. I just about cried. Well, not really. It was certainly one of the most rewarding, joyful, and nerdy experiences in my life, though. And we are not even done yet!

I was able to print out their documents with my comments and suggestions for improvement. Today they edited by hand and interacted verbally with their peers to gain better insight into writing strategies. Collaborating in these two ways, both online and face-to-face, will allow them the variety to best create a piece of writing that they can be proud of.

My excitement was difficult to contain when I wrote for the first time on my homework board, "...final drafts due 3/1 on Google Drive." The true techie nerd within Mr. Riedl is coming out!