Step #3- Working Together

So far in this Teaching Kids to Collaborate Series, we have discussed the first two steps:

  1. Set-Up Rules– Most importantly, don’t erase others’ work and use the “Undo” command.

       2. Assign Student Work – Color code assigned font for small groups and use an index slide for larger group work.

Today is the final post in this series but the most difficult for our young students:

Working Together

Our technology standards clearly state that kids need to use technology to foster collaboration. We know that our students will need these skills in their future and understanding digital etiquette is a key component. The hardest part can sometimes be just a getting a conversation started so here is a topic web that I post in my room for the kids to refer to. I found that later on in the year, they really did not need it as much.

Including another person while in process of a task is difficult for anyone. So, when we ask kids to include someone in their own writing process, which is a personal journey for each author, regardless of age, we need to be patient and allow some “Sandbox” time to get a feel for the process and the digital tools themselves. If we can teach structured procedures for our kids to follow and time to practice before the academic assignment is given, it will be time well spent and benefit them as a writer, procuring future collaboration opportunities as well.

It is also very important to let kids know from the start that recording their ideas should change, as our thoughts change. Another beautiful built in feature of all Google tools- easy editability!

As promised, here are my slides that I use myself- “Collaborating in Docs and Slides” for you to use to teach your kids about these specific steps. These slides include all of my content from my last three blog posts on this topic.

Sample Lesson- To best demonstrate collaboration, I share a document with a student and have them by my side, pretending to be in another classroom or even at home at their kitchen table with their own device. We sit in silence and let kids read what we are commenting and changing on the shared Doc or Slide. As a class, we take notice of our process and practicing the five tips given on my “Working Together” Slide from the presentation link above:

  1. Use assigned font color if assigned one
  2. Use “Undo” when a mistake is made
  3. Use Comments Tab
  4. Try our “Working Together” sentence starters
  5. Check – “Version History” (Used to be called- Revision History) to see editing completed on that page. Click on the date stamp in the History Column to see Stike throughs showing what was deleted and the is color telling by whom. Revision History is not available on iPads.

I truly understand how valuable class time is and all of the pressure to teach content with the added pressure to incorporate technology into your classroom. I sincerely hope that my resource serves as a helpful tool to get your students working together on digital tasks efficiently and effectively.

My next series – “Sharing in Docs & Slides- Deciding on Editing Rights” will dig a little deeper into teaching kids their options when giving another person editing rights and sharing permissions to their work when sharing a document.

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