Use of Google Docs in the Classroom
Since there are so many new technological devices and even mobile applications that it was hard to decide where to start. Checking the articles and attending the seminars, I recognize that as classroom practitioners we do not need anything theoretical but we just want ideas that we easily integrate into our lesson next class. That is why I will follow this pattern; first, very brief information about the new (when I say so it can become old-fashioned) tool, later how a teacher makes use of it, and in what ways. Limited allocated time for lesson preparation forces us to do it in a very short time.
Today, I would like to start with google docs as nobody skips it. Google docs are briefly online documents that can be simultaneously edited.
Also, google docs are very useful because they can be used both on computers and mobiles. Teachers can take the advantage of mobile learning. In its early definition, mobile learning, also known as m-learning, was defined as an extension of e-learning through mobile computational devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones.
-Google Docs as a warm-up activity
It is always difficult to start the lesson. In the Holy book (for teachers it is the teachers’ book) it suggests starting the lesson with a brainstorming activity but in brainstorming as its name suggests it has to be a storm of the ideas without any hesitation of filter. However, when we do it in the classroom students wouldn’t say comfortably. As a teacher you are the one who types all ideas on the board, in google docs, we can start google documents where they can type alone. It can be done through blogging or wikiing as well but the point here is that google documents are very easy to start and for the students, the only thing they need is a Gmail account.
-Google Docs as a writing activity
In writing activities working collaboratively help students produce more and produce more safely. Collaborative writing involves two or more persons working together to produce a written document. According to Storch (2011, p. 275), collaborative writing is the ‘joint production or the co-authoring of a text by two or more writers’.
Teachers can start collaborative writing activities with brainstorming activities, and it can be followed by the joint construction of an essay and then peer-review activities. In the joint construction stage, students can each draft a paragraph after jointly discussing and planning the content for each paragraph. Then the students can take turns revising each other’s paragraphs. Google Docs can enhance this process by allowing real-time editing.
In the example below, two students were paired for an opinion paragraph. They can type, edit and change at the same time on the paper. Also, on the chat link, they can discuss related information about the essay. It is both time-saving for the students and communicative at the same time.
-Google Docs as a project platform
Technology is particularly useful in project work that requires learners to collect information about a given topic. Teachers and students can use Google docs, for example, as a platform for group members to share information that they have collected.
-Google Docs as a data collection or survey tool
In the coursebooks preparing a survey, conducting a survey, and discussing the survey results. In general, students prepare the survey on paper and collect the data by interviewing; this is a good way too. However, they can prepare the survey on google forms and send it to their friends. To improve their 21st-century skills. It can be very effective.
In Figure 2, you can see a task taken from a coursebook where they are supposed to create a class survey. They prepare a survey on Google forms easily and the other students can answer them on their mobile. Since Google forms give the results in graphics as well. It would be easier to evaluate.
Storch, N. (2011). Collaborative writing in L2 contexts: Processes, outcomes, and future directions. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 31, 275-288.
Çakmak, F. (2019). Mobile Learning and Mobile Assisted Language Learning in Focus. Language and Technology, 1(1), 30-48.