Using Google Docs for Live Student Collaboration


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  • Visiting scholar at IML where I teach Intro to Multimedia Authoring with a special focus on remix possibilities across platforms (blogging, photo, audio, video). I will be talking about the use of Google live or synchronous function in regard to issues specifically related to collaborative storytelling assignment in the class
  • We all know the wonders of Google Docs and a great tool of collaboration in asynchronous context – large or small groups can work together across distance and time difference for array of reasons, excellent for curriculum development, strategic planning, long term projects where need multiple looks at document but can’t or don’t necessarily want to have to coordinate meetings. Can do these tasks async.
  • But Google Docs now has some useful real time collaborative features (these elements introduced after google purchased etherpad one of my favorite collaborative software – still open source variant, piratepad). Google Docs now makes it very easy to work in real time collaboration as it tells you who else is viewing which it also designates with a writing tool so you can see where text is being added/altered and by whom. In this case we also used in class small groups to write, edit, and save a peer review that they could later upload to course site (very practical prevented losing reviews if everyone tried to directly put on course site at once)
  • But students can also work in real time outside of class. In this case, the original story line that we crowd sourced in class proved very difficult to get going as it moved back and forth between documentary and fictional modes. The students realized they needed a better strategy/design before starting to get them going past the blank page issue, but also how they would break up the assorted tasks and topics. So after hitting the writing road block they selected a time to meet in “real time” but in different locales. Here you can see product of the meeting with the color coding designating the different student’s writing and input on the redesign.
  • You can have multiple authors writing within the space of the document or as here in chat mode to discuss issues before working on the text. You can see one of the writing tools in upper left corner (as well as reliable async comment tool). Google Docs enabled the students to meet the deadline for the assignment – we didn’t have to meet again in class to re-strategize (and also had more ownership of the reworked design as a result of the problem solving session).
  • Here you have very mini demo, wanted to show you share bar in upper right – your students will probably already have an account through USC google app. You simply need to invite others to share in document. Also, google docs tells you who else is viewing and writing with you. You can use color coding done via font selection if working in bloc (not quite as good as etherpad/piratepad yet) and you can open up a chat to talk about assorted issues outside of actually working in the doc itself, which is very good for brainstorming.
  • Using Google Docs for Live Student Collaboration

    1. 1. Google Docs “Live”<br />Vicki Callahan<br />Institute forMultimedia Literacy<br />Intro to Multimedia Authoring<br />
    2. 2. Async Uses: facilitates collaboration in distance/time differences<br />Conference and Grant Proposals<br />Curriculum Development<br />Strategic Planning<br />Articles, Interviews<br />
    3. 3. Sync Uses: real time collaboration, in class group peer review <br />
    4. 4. Sync Uses: Real Time Group Strategy:Restarting a Collaborative Project<br />Students meet in real time but different locales to redesign project<br />
    5. 5. Writing tools enable multiple authors simultaneously, in document or in chat <br />
    6. 6. Google Docs in Action!<br />