Using Google docs with Elementary Students

Can Google Docs really change the way elementary school students collaborate and learn? Does it reframe the way teachers support understanding in their classrooms and beyond? Up to last year, all students and teachers in the elementary section of the International School of Prague had been relying on a combination of multiple applications to share documents, information, and calendars. The introduction of Google docs in Grade 5 has now radically changed how students and teachers learn together. Google mail has been an opportunity to illustrate students’ responsibility as digital citizens and understanding the need to treat their school mail account as a professional tool. Calendars has allowed students to manage their time more effectively and teachers to coordinate assignments. Docs have been used extensively for group cooperation inside classrooms but also beyond the limits of the class. Speadsheets, drawings and forms have supported inquiry in the classroom and opened a back channel of communication. Sites in coordination with blogs is becoming an effective repository for students’ electronic portfolios. Google docs has streamlined our laptop cart programed and made it more efficient. This workshop will be an opportunity to present our experience and how Google docs have changed IT integration.

John Yungclas and Derek Dalasta (5th grade teachers)