Yesterday I had my students use Google docs again. I have made one of my goals for this year to use each technology integration at least twice so that students can get past the initial learning curve for a new application and see how it really works and enhances their work. So, having had them work on a Google doc I uploaded a few weeks ago, my plan was to have them create their own to map in groups Siddhartha's journey through the novel. I was pushing this to a new level -- they had to use the whole system themselves.
5th period came. The students got into groups, and one person set out to create the doc and invite the others. One group was successful with this, but the other three were not. They kept creating documents and inviting their group, but no one, not even the creator, could find them. Almost 10 minutes later, someone found them in their "trash" -- a mystery I still have not solved. Anyone know what we were doing wrong to have them sent to trash unknowingly?
But we were then able to move ahead, albeit with much less time for them to actually work on the assignment. That really is the hardest hurdle for using new technology -- it chews up precious minutes of class time working out the kinks no matter how in advance you prepare. This is another reason I have vowed to use everything at least twice -- I want to get some of that time back the next time I use the technology!
But then 7th period came ... and the Internet went down ... again ... No Google docs for that class, just plain old Word. But this is what was interesting. A student responded to this news with, "Oh, but that takes all the fun out of it!" I was really surprised actually and to be honest relieved. I learned in that moment that even with the hiccups technology brings, the students have enjoyed what we have done. Amazing.