Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DEBATE? Google Groups Perfect Tool

As we continue to combine communication arts and social studies this year, a perfect marriage of the two contents comes in the form of debate and the U.S. Constitution.  We are setting up the great debate that is the writing of the Constitution by displaying proper debating techniques and discussing debate topics.

With this comes the opportunity to debate topics that are really not social studies related, but definitely topics that students can proclaim yes or no.

In order to "give every student a voice", I decided to try Google Groups.  I chose Groups because
  • it was a closed, invite only forum that would allow our students to state their opinion without the entire world knowing.  
  • a thread, reply type flow of conversation exists
  • we are a GAFE 
  • students didn't need to set up another account with another web service
  • worked very smoothly on iPads

The Set Up:
  • Create Your Group - keep private
  • Invite members of class - used emails from contacts
  • Edit my membership - all students should do this because they can read it on the web

View videos of Google Groups in action:

We did openly talk about the different responses that students had by displaying the threads of responses on the SMARTboard.

Overall, Google Groups was a great tool for debating topics, worked well on the iPad, and engaged all students with a voice!
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