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Which Google Docs for Beginners?

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Pilot survey representing educators' views on easiest and most engaging Google Docs for novices to use for cooperative online learning purposes.

Pilot survey representing educators' views on easiest and most engaging Google Docs for novices to use for cooperative online learning purposes.


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  • 1. Which Google Docsfor Beginners? A pilot study report by Paul Beaufait
  • 2. On the menu:Survey: Findings:● Focus, ● Uses● Purpose, & ○ Easiest,● Target population. ○ Engagingest*, & ○ Most frequent.Process:● Preparation, Interpretations,● Pre-piloting, & implications, &● Piloting. limitations.
  • 3. Focus & purpose of survey
  • 4. Pre-piloting● Pre-piloting ● Outcomes ○ Jan. 10-12, 2012 ○ Additional items: ■ Google Doc type ■ A co-participant used most in the Google frequently Docs for ● for personal Collaboration endeavours, & workshop, & ■ Moniker ■ A colleague in (optional) ● to enable follow- Japan: up inquiries & ● Familiar with sharing of findings Google Docs.
  • 5. Piloting● Piloting ● Outcomes ○ Jan. 16-20, 2012; ○ Clarification of ○ In Google Docs for terminology: Collaboration ■ "... elaborated in workshop (Jan. the help text for 2012): item [0.]2" (Jan. ■ Co-participants, 17, 2012). ■ Co-teachers, & ○ Improved parallelism in ■ Legitimate headings for: peripheral participants. ■ Survey items, & ■ Spreadsheet columns.
  • 6. Google+: LinkedIn: professional professional associates with associates withknown interests in "edu*" or "teach*" educational in their profiles. technology; & Target population
  • 7. Findings: Item 0
  • 8. Findings: Item 1
  • 9. Findings: Item 2
  • 10. Findings: Item 3
  • 11. Interpretations (1)Item 1: Ease of use ● One suggested itfor learners – "depends on● 88.88_% (8 of 9) previous favo(u)red page- experience...." like documents; ○ Once beyond simply adding comments to● Likely suspects: existing files, ○ Familiarity with ■ "...each [type] word-processing has its tools, & challenges" ○ Linear format. ● (2012.01.10).
  • 12. Interpretations (2)Item 2: Engagement ● Possibleof learners working in explanations forcooperation with engagement via:each other – ○ Forms (1) –● Opinions split ■ Peer-to-peer largely between: polling, ○ Documents (4), & ■ Individual or ○ Presentations (4). group data● Likely suspects: analysis, & ○ Semblance to offline ■ Peer-to-peer products and wares. explanations.
  • 13. Interpretations (3)Item 3: Most frequent ● Usual suspects,personal use by again –respondents – ○ Familiar formats & functions for:● In descending ■ writers, & order: ■ presenters. ○ Documents (4), ○ Presentations (2), & ● Regarding ○ Forms (1). ○ Forms (1) –● Pre-pilot surveys ■ Always paired (2) did not include with this item. spreadsheets.
  • 14. Elaborations (1): Documents ● "... Documents are by default unitary blocks of text, [so] it is difficult to give students strategies for using them cooperatively, ● the main difficulties being deciding who does what, ● and whether and when and how its acceptable to edit something that a team member has written." (2012.01.12, emphasis added)
  • 15. Elaborations (2a): Presentations ● "Presentations are composed of slides, and it is comparatively easy to divide the initial work up .... ● Since the amount of text is typically smaller, its also easier for a team member to read all the text carefully[,] and comment on specific chunks (e.g. a bullet point) of text. ..."
  • 16. Elaborations (2b): Presentations ● "... And since there are usually other elements beside text, it may be easier to start the discussion off by commenting on design." (2012.01.12)
  • 17. Elaborations (3): Kit & kaboodle● "My sister says that her girls schools are now using Google Docs for their school assignments in elementary school and middle school.● There is no doubt that it appears to be the best set of web tools ou[t]... there[,] and● it is very cost effective because it is free!" (2012.01.20)
  • 18. Elaborations (4): Rave from S. Am. ● "I am a huge fan of Google Apps.● Last year I had the chance to train several teachers in Buenos Aires to start using Google in the classroom. ● The results were amazing." (2012.01.27)
  • 19. Implications (1): Usability (+/-)● Computer users ... also may long for familiar with stand- advanced technical alone computer- functions and formats based documents available in familiar, and presentations purpose-dedicated, are likely to find word-processing and Google Docs presentation usable upon first software. entry, but ...
  • 20. Implications (2): Share-ability (+)● Computer users ... in-the-cloud familiar with email updates accessible or other file for simultaneous use, transfer protocols in various locations, may overlook by multiple editors Google Docs and viewers. affordances for automated, ...
  • 21. Implications (3): Embed-ability (+)● Computer users ... maximize the unfamiliar with benefits of using transclusion, in various Google Docs particular its for automated, "implementations cooperative, online on the Web" aggregation, (Wikipedia), may commenting, editing, need deliberate publication, and guidance and updating of their work explicit models in in multiple and order to ... various locations.
  • 22. ● The primary limitation of this pilot study is its small scale (only nine responses in total, 2012.02.11). ○ A related limitation is the distinct possibility of multiple responses from individuals. ■ At present, Google Forms apparently provide no means of preventing multiple responses other than using, and then immediately closing separate forms. ● Such an approach would defeat automated concatenation and graphing of data from Google Forms. Limitations (1)
  • 23. ● Another limitation is the absence of focus on the intended purposes of educators using, or hoping to use, Google Docs for collaborative learning or teaching purposes, ○ as well as on the fit, or expected fit, of specific Google Docs file types, functions, and affordances, to such collaborative purposes; ■ both from the point of view of the educators, themselves, and from that of the learners whom they strive to serve and support. ● Further investigation is necessary. Limitations (2)
  • 24. Which Google Docsfor Beginners? A pilot study report by Paul Beaufait