Barbra Kaimuloa Bates (2011) Using Google Apps in Professional Learning Communities, Educational Technology University of Hawaii at Mānoa Kailua-Kona, Hawaii USA
Being an educator presents challenges, especially when communication is a barrier. Google Apps provide collaboration tools which allow teachers to create, share, collaborate and publish work within their Professional Learning Community (PLC). All documents and revisions saved on Google Apps are easily accessible for each collaborator, eliminating This project sought to implement an instructional design module that can serve as an orientation for new users of Google Apps, so that teachers will be able to gain an understanding of the tools and adopt them into their PLC. Voicethread presentations were embedded into the web-based modules so users would be able to view step-by-step procedures as a tutorial for Google Apps. The project was delivered in a hybrid approach, both synchronous and asynchronous, since teachers’ technology abilities vary. Ten public school teachers participated in and tested the web-based module and its effectiveness was evaluated in a survey completed by participants after they finished the module. Post survey results indicated positive reactions to using Google Apps as a collaboration tool in their PLC, although they have expressed concern that without total “buy in” amongst their colleagues, the collaboration tool would not be effective.
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