Customizing learning using Google docs

I had the opportunity to work with several schools in Australia last week, leading teacher training on blended learning.   I found it very interesting to kick-off our time using a KWL activity to help customize the training for each group of teachers.  I used Google Docs as a whole group writing activity, where everyone is working in one document simultaneously, and the results are then used for further discussion.  I’ve done this in strategic planning sessions, as well.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a new Google doc (requires gmail account, set one up, it’s worth it!).  Be sure to set the visibility permissions to “allow anyone with link” and “allow anyone to edit.” 










2.  To kick off a KWL Activity, type the following three questions in the document in bold.

  • What do you already KNOW about _________, and don’t need to learn?
  • What do you WANT to know about _________?
  • How do you want to LEARN, and then show what you’ve learned?

3.  Create a (a shortened URL) of the Google doc to share with group to pull up on their own mobiles.

4.  Give the group several minutes to respond to the questions in text.  Encourage the group to not hit the “back” button, or it will refresh the page for the entire group.

5.  At the end of the time period, go back, review the responses as a group for each question.  Summarize the findings, and develop the plan together to move forward in the training or study of a subject.

Here’s a sample of a group-constructed KWL:

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