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March--Four powerful collaboration techniques

Four easy collaboration strategies with Google Docs:

1) Share documents and allow students to color code key words and sentennces based on your criteria.  Perhaps you and your students are working on power words, active verbs, content area vocabulary, or topic sentences and supporting details.  By sharing documents, students can identify areas for the author to focus his or her attention simply by color-coding:

2) Next, students can insert inline comments into the document.  It creates a threaded discussion right in the document itself, and each is time and author stamped.  This is a powerful method for synchronous or asynchronous collaboration around student work, be it an essay, a lab report, notes, or content area writing in math.  Just go insert>comment to place the digital "sticky note."

3) This next one is really cool and easy.  It's a two step process.  Open a new tab in your browser and go to  It's free and no login is needed.  Click the record button and record your message.  You may need to allow the website to use the microphone; just click allow there.

The  copy and paste the URL that the voice recording created into the comment that we created in the above step.  The end result is:

4) Finally, encourage students to co-author their work!  With Google Docs, every key stroke is captured, time stamped, and attributed to the author (based on login).  As such, kids cannot delete the original author's work, and in a multi-editor environment, it's easy for you to determine who wrote what (and when!)  Easy to access, and it's "always on." 

Simply go to the file menu to revision history.