This week, I went the practical route in my post. I thought I would provide you with a concrete example of how to utilize Google Drive and Google Docs to promote peer editing and collaboration among your students. I have worked with quite a few teachers setting this up. We have found that the initial setup takes a bit of time but once it is organized it is an excellent way to promote peer editing and collaboration.
Step One: Have Students Create a Folder and Share it With You
The first step in this process is to have your students create a folder on their Google Drive and share it with you. By doing this, you will be able to see everything they put into that folder. I would suggest you have them build their writing in that folder directly. That way, they don't have to move anything. If they build their written piece using Google Docs in their shared folder, it keeps everything together and organized.
Step Two: Create Editing Groups
Once your students have a piece of writing in their folder, you can begin to create groupings of your students. Create folders for your groups. I would suggest naming them with either the names of the students in the group or Group 1, Group 2, etc. Once you have the folder created, share it with only the students in that group. Because you created the folder, you will be able to see everything they do in the folder.
Step Three: Have Students Put Their Work in the Group Folder
Have students make a copy of the work they have completed. They can then move the copy of their work into their shared group folder. Once their work is in that folder, they can begin the process of peer editing. How you decide to do this is entirely up to you. Students can suggest edits on the pieces or can comment on the work. Choose a strategy that works for you and for your students.
Once the students have a piece that has been peer edited, they could make a copy of it and place it back into their original folder they shared with you. This becomes their final piece of writing. One further step could be for the students to share their final, peer edited piece with people outside of your classroom by publishing their piece on a blog or by sharing the piece through Google Drive with students or teachers outside of your class.
The goal in this process is twofold. First, students write a piece and share it with you. They then share the piece with their peers and get feedback and incorporate the feedback into their writing. This process encourages collaboration and helps them develop peer editing skills. By sharing the finished piece through a blog or another format, the students can bring their writing to a wider audience.
If this is something you would be interested in doing with your students (no matter what grade they are in), let me know and I would be happy to help you set it up.
Have a great day!