I am running a monthly workshop for teachers in my high school called Google Bootcamp. I’ve created a Google Site and a Google Group to help support the lessons in the workshop. Here is my reflection on the first meeting:
I think today was successful, yet slightly confusing. I think the
first lesson for a new prep always has some bumps along the way; I
want to clarify some things I think may have caused the confusion.
We began by signing into our Google Account or Gmail account. Either
will work to access Google Apps, but a Google Account links to another
email address, which can be any email address, including a Gmail
address. You may also link multiple addresses to a Google Account. A
Gmail Account gives you the same access to Google Apps AND a free
email account (my favorite email service).
Once signed in, we visited the Shawnee Bootcamp “Google Site”:
Google Sites allow anyone with a Google Account to create a free website.
The Shawnee Bootcamp site that I created uses a “Wiki” template
provided by Google in the setup phase while creating the new site.
This allows multiple users to edit the same website. I asked everyone
to “sign in” at the bottom of the site to see if they could edit, but
we found that it took us back to the page, without being able to
edit. This is where the confusion started. I just figured out how to
add everyone as a “contributer” so we can all edit the site together
in a future meeting.
My initial goal was to have everyone fill in the “Project Definition”
and define our goals as a group, but we moved on to joining the
“Google Group” so we could participate in a group discussion.
We will cover how to create a Google Site later in the year.
“Google Groups” has one major function: Group discussions with the
ability to have members create and reply to topics. Discussion
updates can be sent to group members via email, depending on their
chosen settings. We can also send the whole group an email.
We created a few topics in our group, and the major goal was to post a
“shared Google Doc” in reply to the topic posted in the group.
After we all joined the group, we went back to the bootcamp site, then
to the “Bootcamp Site Forum” to view the links I posted from the
Google Workshop for Educators:
We will be using this as the framework for our meetings.
In the presentation, there was a link to a “Moderator Backchannel“.
This is where meeting attendants can post questions for the Moderator
to answer. I asked everyone to go to google.moderator to make their
own backchannel. This may be useful for lessons where your students
have internet access, so you can answer “frequently asked questions”
in public, and they remain there for future classes to read.
Last we navigated to Google Docs. We made a document, added a title,
then added text, hyperlinks, and a picture. Afterward we shared the
document, making it public and editable to anyone with the link.
The link was posted in our discussion group, then we all edited one
document at the same time. This might be useful for class notes. I
have found it successful when passing out a laptop or 2 during class
notes, then posting the link on an eboard or other website, for the
whole class to see.
Please use the group discussion ( http://groups.google.com/group/shawnee-bootcamp ) for questions, so everyone can learn together. Thank you!