When you think of the future and technology, visions of floating cars and time machines are the first thing that come to mind and rightly so, I’m waiting for my DeLorean as we speak. With computers and video games, kids have access to so many advancements now that it’s easy to overlook key pieces of technology that can be integrated into their core school work.
Growing up we had to write outlines on lined paper by hand, then a summary, rough draft, and final draft in pen. Pen! The final report was then typed on a typewriter, and if mistakes were made, liquid paper was your best friend. This all isn’t that long ago but that’s how quickly technology advances.
While iPads and laptops are common for school work nowadays, something you may not be taking advantage of is Google Docs. Google Docs is a free web-based software within Google Drive. Not only can you edit your document on multiple devices but it also allows you to edit and share documents with others online.
I’ve always used Google Docs for my own writing and when the Kid’s 4th-Grade California Mission project came up, it dawned on me that it would be the perfect way to research and write the report.
At the start of the project I set up the Kid with a new document in Google Docs where he typed his outline and the questions he had. Google Docs is a shared mobile app, so that document was always with us. When we visited the site, I simply brought up the document on my phone and he altered and added information to it as we walked around the Mission.
When we got home he went over the notes he took and completed his rough draft. It’s that simple! The days of dragging around spiral notebooks and a pen to field trips is over!
Google docs is great for group projects as well. It allows for sharing a link to the document with your other collaborators or keeping the document completely private.
To see how the Kid transformed his notes into a Powerpoint presentation, go here.