Friday, February 20, 2009

Google Docs and Box.Net

So far, so good. Fingers crossed. Wood knocked.

I've massaged Google Docs into the Grade 8s and the Model UN club; at this rate I'll have about 20% of the school covered by the end of the month. I'm slowly trying to win the school over. Already one of the social teachers noted my use of it with MUN kids: they are writing scripts/storyboards for some videos so I set up a template and shared a document with each group so they could work simultaneously.

It also helps for evaluation. After working to keep this one student on task ("no, Johnny, watching anime on YouTube is not helping your script on the issues surrounding prosecuting peacekeepers on criminal charges"), I sat him down at the end of club and showed him the history for his group's document. He had made one change compared to the huge list of his teammates.

As for the Grade 8s, I set an assignment in GoogleDocs with links to the rubric which was in another GD. What was nice is that they pointed out a structural error in the assignment that I hadn't noticed (the author is always too close to the object) and I went in, changed it and it was automatically refreshed for them. Once their wiki is finalized this will all fit in quite nicely.

My only problem thus far is where to store the OneNote files for my classes. Teaching math on a tablet is a great environment but it limits me really to OneNote for students' written exercises. And they are not pleasant to move around. They tend to be large files so I'm a little afraid of running up against Box.Net's storage & transfer limits (the school will not be interested in paying for any fees). I really like the way the widget works on the wiki except that when you click the OneNote it defaults to save with no option to just open the thing in OneNote. Sigh. The problems.
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