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Resource Number 10

URL http://docs.google.com Keywords word processing, spread sheets, real-time collaboration in document writing, editable content

Google docs
Category IV Collaboration Tools - wikis Rationale

Very often it is important to share ideas and information with people that are not in the same room and maybe even thousands of miles away from each other. Google docs is a way of working on Microsoft Office-like or Open Office-like documents together with other people via the internet and without having Microsoft office or Open office installed on the computer. Description Google docs is an online application for editing documents. It can be used by a group of people that are working on the same document or by a person that wants to share a document with other people. Once a Google document is shared by its author, it is accessible, either for visualisation or modification for everybody having the link of that document. A Google doc, for example a word processing doc, looks very much like its Microsoft Office equivalent and also has some of the formatting options. The Google doc formats available are: DOC, XLS, CSV, ODS, ODT, PDF, RTF and HTML and in all these formats documents and spreadsheets can be stored on a computer. Documents can also be uploaded online with Google docs. Resources required For Google docs to work a functional Internet connection is needed. It does not require a high performance computer but the Internet connection should be good. A Google account, i.e. a Gmail account is also necessary and documents can be shared only with people that also have a Gmail account. Obligatory resources Desktop computer or laptop Reliable and stable Internet connection A Gmail account

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The project Autonomous Personal Learning Networks for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Cost Completely free Setup and Configuration For using Google docs there is no need to install anything on your computer. To start using the application, you need to set up a Gmail account or use your current Gmail account. After logging in you can access the Google docs link. Styling In terms of styling, Google Docs does not support many formatting features. There are limited options in font size and styles. Large files like pictures might cause difficulty to upload onto the site. Nevertheless, the application has an impressive number of document templates to pick and use. Teachers can direct students to use a certain template or they can browse the different categories. You can also create your own template and share it with your colleagues or students. Navigation and operation Due to its similarity with other document processing tools Google docs is simple to use and extensive support is available, including tutorials from Google. The main advantage is that multiple users can make edits to the same files simultaneously. The original creator has full control over the document and can allow and deny access to other users. There are limits on the number of synchronous collaborators for each type of document. However, these limits allow lots of possibilities, still: A presentation can be edited by 10 people simultaneously. A spreadsheet can be edited by 50 people simultaneously. A document can be edited by 50 people at the same time.

Implementation methodology This tool can be explored in several ways in educational contexts, including class management, correspondence with students and project work. In classroom situations that are learning specific, the usage of Google docs is conditioned by the fact that every learner must have access to a computer or that there must be at least one computer per group of learners. Teaching/Learning ideas: distant learning form of delivering language content blended learning lessons collaborate on a document with fellow teachers keep track of grades, attendance, or any other data holding training for students and teachers located in various locations at the same time task-based learning practising writing skills and spelling foreign language learning through reciprocal peer communication

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The project Autonomous Personal Learning Networks for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Example of implementation Type of lesson: General English course Level: B1 of CEFR Lesson Title: Organizing a concert using Google docs Age group: Upper secondary Number of students involved: 18 Duration: Project work - 1 week deadline Introduction: The aim of the lesson is to set SS on discovering organisational aspects in this case related to the organisation of a concert; They will be directed to using set language chunks while developing their tasks. The lesson will be based on online collaborative writing, online editing and sharing of documents. Lead-in: Present the topic of the lesson organising concerts; email all SS inviting them to the online activity and sharing the folder with the content documents in Google docs. Lesson flow: All activities in the lesson are included in the ppt. SS are invited to watch online with the rest of their class. They will first watch several videos with different concert experiences and then focus their attention on a few aspects related to the organisation of those events from the point of view of the performer and the fan. Writing: After watching the videos SS will be presented two different perspectives upon the same event performers and review writers and they will be invited to develop a plan for the organisation of the concert/ reviewing the concert experience. Synthesizing their perception on the videos linked in the ppt will help SS create a support structure for their writing tasks and identify those elements they need to include in their work. Class management: SS will be grouped in two teams who will access their tasks directly through the ppt. Their writings will be edited online and all participants will share the same folder so that they have access to everyones input. Working online will facilitate collaborative writing without requiring face-to-face meetings. SS will have one week to work on their tasks online. They will also be able to read the others work but without editing it. SS will be able to share their comments using a common document with separate sections for those in the role of the performers and those in the role of the reviewers.

Other issues Useful on-line resources www.youtube.com http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/if.htm http://www.ehow.com/how_135516_organize-international-concert.html http://www.performingbiz.com/?content=home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKhMEae_OsM&feature=related Useful tips This is the link to the Google docs support page that will show you step by step what you can do with Google docs.

This Factsheet is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

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The project Autonomous Personal Learning Networks for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.