Integrating Google Docs into Robotics

Our school is currently in the early stages of the FIRST LEGO League. We have four teams of 4-6 students and we meet for 4 hours a week. Working through the Project/Game portions of the challenge requires a great deal of time and energy during in-school practices and outside of school. As a coach I work to coordinate students to:

  • design
  • build
  • program
  • work collaboratively
  • work as a cooperative team
  • research
  • take notes
  • ask questions
  • share ideas
  • share resources
  • stay organised

How do we do all these things in a cohesive, creative and organised manner? The answer is GOOGLE DOCS!

I am working towards developing a system that encourages conversation and creativity through Google Docs as a collaboration tool.

  • Parents have been shared on a Google Spreadsheet where they can fill in their names for snack rotation (have to keep our young minds and bodies fed well!)
  • The students are shared on a Google Doc Folder containing the FLL game/project rules and guidelines as well as a doc that contains their research notes, links and resources. There is one folder per team and students are only shared on their team’s folder.
  • Lastly, my coaching partner and I are shared on a Google Spreadsheet for attendance and a planning Doc.

Here’s what the doc system for FLL looks like from a coaches’ perspective:

These docs allow for various levels of interaction between coaches-coaches, coaches-students, students-students, coaches-parents. We are finding that as the FLL challenge progresses, students are using the docs organically during practices and outside of them.  The collaborative nature of Google Docs is definitely working to keep our rookie teams organised!

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