Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Google Docs

My students are currently working on a research presentation assignment. My initial purpose behind the assignment was to have students research current governments that oppress their citizens. We finished reading Animal Farm, and discussed many themes related to the corruption of power and tyranny's distortion of language and history. I wanted my students to realize that these occurrences did not just happen under Stalin's rule and in the past. So, students were assigned various countries that have issues with human rights and were instructed to work in small groups (2-3 students) to create a PowerPoint presentation on their research. They became engaged with the research quickly as many are not aware of international news; however, I was most surprised when students became excited about collaborating via Google Docs. They used the PowerPoint feature and were able to see immediate changes in slides of students who were working in their groups. They also were able to work more easily at home without issues of saving or emailing the document. It was nice to see technology again increase investment in an assignment.