I am attending the Google Teacher Academy in Atlanta later this month. GTA has asked that if we have an innovative idea, we apply to present. Here is my submission
- Google Spreadsheets for real-time collaborative data collection.
When conducting experiments in a science environment there is often a great deal of experimental error associated with student data collection. This can lead to inappropriate conclusions or misunderstanding of science concepts or phenomena. One of the easy ways to remediate this is by collecting class data: outlier data is averaged and balanced and students use more meaningful mathematical processes for analysis. In the way-way past, this was done on the board. We’d make a data table and students would fill in, then copy. Once computers were more readily available, we would use a spreadsheet at a single station: students would come to the station, one group at a time and input their data. We would then have one sheet that could be posted to the class website. This process was still cumbersome. With the advent of the Google Spreadsheet, it’s a totally different ball game. Students can work simultaneously to input data and real-time progress monitoring can take place. There are some key strategies to make it work effectively that I will discuss.