Saturday, December 3, 2016

Collaborative Writing Using Google Drawings

Do you remember doing Round Robin Writing in school?  The student starts writing a story.  A bell goes off and the student moves to another desk, reads that student's story, and adds to the student's writing.  The bell goes off again, and the student moves to another desk.  This continues until the teacher thinks it is time for the students to stop and return to their desks.  When the students return to their desk, they read their story that has now been added to by many other students and add a conclusion to the story.

I decided to try this same concept with Google Drawings on the Chromebooks.  The students were told to pick a background for their story.  They could add details to their project with images.  Then the students needed to start writing a story.  Each project was supposed to have a place where students could write their name when they contributed to the project.  

The students were excited to start their stories.  After about 10 minutes, I told the students that it was time to switch to another computer.  Most of the students were not ready to switch (some students take longer than others when using technology), so I changed my directions.  I told students to stand up when they were ready to switch, and I facilitated which computer each student should work on.

The students were eager to work on each other projects.  When the student started on another student's project, they were told to read the story first, and then they were allowed to add more images or more to the writing.  Reading the story first was an important step in the process because the students needed a lot of reminders to make sure what they added to the project matched the project.  For example, one student liked to add kittens to all of the projects she was working on, but this didn't work when the background for the project was a football field with football players.

Some students did not like the other students adding to their work, and I had to assure them that they would be able to return their computer in the end to edit their work.  One rule I did make was that you were not allowed to delete anything that anyone else added to the project.  Students were allowed to move things around, change the color, and add more images, but they could not delete anything.  

Overall, the project was a positive learning experience for the students.  When it was time for the activity to end, the students were excited to go back and see who worked on their project and what was added.  Students were also given the opportunity to put the finishing touches on their project before they turned it in.  Below is a project that three of the students completed together.

My name is Duck.  I am at school right now.  This is my friend named Bird.  I like my friend bird.

One of my goals this year is to increase collaboration among students by using technology.  This is my first project to include collaboration with the Chromebooks.  I will share more projects utilizing technology to increase collaboration as the school year progresses.

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