Beyond collecting written assignments or giving online quizzes, Google Docs can be used in the classroom for more engaging lessons. Below are a few useful activities you can try with your class.
Google Docs is the perfect tool for hosting in-class writing activities like chapter summaries and book analyses. You can add an interactive twist by taking full advantage of the real-time collaborative editing feature of Google Docs and having students simultaneously comment on each other’s work once everyone has finished writing.
Start by splitting students into groups to work on the same document. Within groups, students can be assigned different colours to make their contributions easy to identify. You can then check in on the progress of each group at any time from your computer, and simply pull up the document on the BenQ Board when it’s time to present. BenQ Boards come with a built-in pen tool that facilitates discussion among the entire class by allowing both you and your students to mark over content and write down new ideas.
One of the great things about Google Docs is the extensive range of add-ons you can install to maximise its usability in the classroom. Any text you’d like to work with – be it a poem or an excerpt from a book – can be easily pasted into Google Docs.
Add-ons like the Highlight Tool come in handy when learning to identify literary devices in English class. While Google Docs already comes with a highlighter function, using a dedicated add-on allows you to label each colour so students can categorise their highlights.
Students can highlight content directly from their devices or take turns doing so on the BenQ Board. You can annotate over the document with the built-in annotation tool to better explain each literary device and answer any questions students may have about the lesson. Any changes made to the document are automatically saved, meaning students have access to it from their personal devices for review.
Real-time group experiments
Experiments in the science lab are always engaging at the group level. By using Google Docs to track the progress of each group and a BenQ Board to compare results in real time, you have the ability to make science experiments more engaging for the entire class.
To do this, each group should have its own scientific method worksheet on Google Docs to work with. This enables groups to fill in their findings on the worksheet while you monitor their progress and give feedback, all without anyone having to leave their station. By pulling up the work of any group on the interactive display, you can annotate over the worksheet when you want to point out common mistakes to the whole class.
When the experiment data points start coming in from each group, they can be compared in real time on the display. With the Duo Windows split-screen mode on BenQ interactive displays, Google Docs can be opened on one side while data is plotted on the other using EZWrite. With EZWrite 6, sessions can be saved as IWB files, enabling you to pick up the lesson at any time right where you left off.