Sunday, November 24, 2013

Integrating Google Docs Into The French Foreign Language Classroom-Andover High School Instructional Technology

I recently had the opportunity to assist a French teacher with introducing Google Docs for creating a survey in his French classroom. Prior to me coming to his classroom and working with his students we discussed how we could use Google Docs so that students could share surveys that they create in French with each other more easily. The French teacher also wanted to streamline the process of having availability all of the surveys available on the web organized by class. This teacher was very open to the different possibilities of using Google Docs for integrating these surveys in his classroom.

Prior to me coming to his classroom the students typed up the surveys in Word document format. To assist this teacher I came into the classroom to coteach and show the students how to create a Google form and how to edit the different types of questions and explain how they had many options. Students learned how to create a form, change the name of the form as well as choose a template for the appearance. Even though I knew Google Docs to be very popular tool amongst high school students I was very surprised that many had not created a form before. The students did a great job working within the Google interface and the options for forms is very intuitive and allows them to choose the different types of questions(multiple choice,text,paragraph,checkboxes,choose from a list). Form questions also enable for adding help text to each question and also gave an options for whether or not the question was required or not.

One of the most interesting components of this lesson was teaching students how to add the accent to specific letters in the French language using the American keyboard. We used a webpage with the keyboard shortcuts on the board to assist students with what they needed to type in order to get the accent to show. Many students entered their survey questions in a very expedient way and successfully created their forms. I then was able to show them the live link in which they could then share their form with anyone. I had them copy their link and add it to a document in which I shared with them. Students enjoyed editing the document collaboratively and seeing live the addtion of each survey to the shared document. The final document had all of their surveys links and names on it. I shortened this link and made it so the French teacher could then share these surveys with another class in France to comlete so that the American students could review the responses.

The students in this class were now easily able to share their surveys with each other and were able to practice creating them using a tool which was intuitive and allowed them to create a variety of questions(multiple choice,text,paragraph,checkboxes,drop down,grid,choose from a list,scale). The sharing feature is valuable in that a variety of settings can be set once and editing by different people can be controlled. The person who created the form or anyone else can edit or not based on the settings. The form can be made available to the public or kept private. Google enables specific editing features for each document created.

The opportunity to use the language lab was a great benefit to this group of students. This lesson could be done in any computer lab or classroom which has internet access. Google Docs provides a great free way to create surveys or web-based forms in which you can collect data about a variety of subjects. It is very user-friendly and with just a few simple steps can be applied to almost any classroom. It can be used to help with assessment by creating test or quizzes or even in a flipped classroom model so that students can answer questions at home and then have a discussion about them when they get to school.