Saturday, February 23, 2013

Google Docs and Relevancy

My son is in first grade.  I want him to work on his writing, which he hates.  He hates both the mechanics of writing (putting pencil to paper), spelling, etc.  We went to a local museum and he saw an ad for a kids writing contest, grades K-3.  He decided he was going to enter, and win.  Kind of a funny choice for someone who hates writing, but he was set on it.  He came home to start, and very very quickly got frustrated when he made mistakes, had to erase, the paper got messy, etc.

I had a small brainstorm.  Maybe he could type it on the computer, edit his mistakes, and not get so frustrated.  It would also take away the whole problem of writing (ok, so he doesn't get practice on that, but at least he's practicing spelling and making sentences).

I started him on googledocs.  I chose that because it automatically saves, saves edits (so things can be undone) and can be accessed from any computer.

He loves it!  After a few days, however, he realized that he had an email account associated with his google docs account.  Uh oh.  Ok, so gmail does not have parental controls, I've looked.  I've monitored closely.  He has been emailing me, my husband, my parents, his other grandparents.  He can't wait to check his email and write back.  He has used google docs to share the story with them, and keep adding to it. that authentic practice?!!  How to make middle school level as authentic as that?  It seems to me, that for reading and writing are easier to find authentic practice.  Now I need to think about how to do that in my class.

And....has anyone ever used google docs, or a better kid-friendly website or application for kids?
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