I was part of the Illinois Science Teacher Association teacher in-service recently. I have presented at ISTA conferences before but this time it was different. There were five of us, from all over the state of Illinois and we had never met! We were presenting Next Generation Science Standards in a three-hour teacher workshop. Sound daunting?
It was possible with Google Docs.
I use Google Docs with my students in STEM class. The beauty is real time collaboration. Each student can make changes to a document and everyone in the group can see the changes immediately. Every child is on their own computer, participating.
I created a presentation in Google Docs called ISTA Presentation. Google Docs saved the presentation with a designated URL. I shared the document with my four co-presenters. We then used Google Hangout (like Skype) to discuss our ideas together. I was at home on the couch. Talk about a happy hour! Each of us volunteered to add slides to the document. It was collaborative and friendly.
We finally met one another the day of the conference. We briefly discussed the presentation, making small changes. I admitted I was nervous but confident. The beauty was I had one small part of one large presentation. I wasn’t freaking out, redoing the slides 5 minutes before the presentation. We all adopted a blind faith attitude.
The presentation went beautifully. Our participant surveys were positive and I met some really great teachers. The experience opened up a whole new way of presenting.