INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY USING GOOGLE DOCS
The Context for My Lesson
The specific class that I am teaching is 12th Grade CTE Business Education at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC. This particular class is generally (according to Mr. Samford, the regular teacher) an advanced class, so I don’t presume much alteration to be needed in order to accommodate remedial learners, but in the case there is needed advanced instruction to meet the needs of the ‘gifted’ learners, then the assignments can be modified to include more detail to be more difficult. The classrooms are usually evenly spread in gender and contain many of the same different needs of other classrooms.
Before this lesson, I will be covering basic contractual elements, which sets the basis for more advanced applications such as mergers. After this lesson I will be covering the most advanced topics in the course, which are more along the lines of policy, accounting, and possibly even taxation depreciation, but a foundation in contracts and critical thinking pertaining to it is necessary in order to be thinking of how to maximize profits.
These students already have a foundation in Algebra and English, which should prepare them in being able to nail down specifics of special deals and the words in order to make sure there are no ambiguous terms to make things unenforceable or less appealing in the details. The students should have a good grasp of what is (a): Niche market, a cash cow, marketing, branding, markets of scale, and horizontal and vertical supply chain management.
What they need to know more about is how to obtain their ideas with the usage of proper negotiating skills through Google Docs in order to work out a contract that is beneficial to their ideas to improve their standing. This is the meeting of the standard (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02). They need to know more about the laws surrounding what they are doing and what is necessary to come up with a good deal, including being able to walk away from a bad deal. No deal is made if money is not made.
This lesson will be about using “critical thinking skills” (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02) in order to achieve favorable objectives for “customer relations, professional development, and marketing” for future business professionals (the current students taking the course) via the use of the Google Docs as a media to assist in creating a merger because this will simulate the real-time issues that may come up and will capture a lot of the thought processes that go along with such important, critical thinking business decisions. Ideally there will be more than one day of discussion of the merging ideas so that I may be able to look over what is going on and be able to ask questions that will create a second day of high-stakes barter.
The Standard(s) this Lesson Meets
I will focus specifically on: 6.04 Utilize critical-thinking skills to determine best options/outcomes under the ‘Understand customer relations, professional development, and marketing’ (FOUNDATION) heading (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02) in regard to critical thinking as a manager in order to maximize success (defined by profit) via mergers.
The Media or Technology I am Integrating
Sample Google Doc:
Google Docs is a live-time digital medium that can be used to instruct and to produce a product that is created from several sources without having to go back and see what changes are needed after a revision in-between the time an edit was submitted and an edit was made. This amounts to a live-time editing function that is crucial for such intricate contracts such as a merger.
The Rationale for Integrating the Media or Technology into this Lesson
The Google Docs form (with the ability to edit) will engage the learner because of the need to complete what is beneficial to personal interest, and an engaged learner is then self-motivated for achievement (Miller et al, 2006, p.142) because this type of “learning…is directly linked to [students’] amount of mental effort” (Hobbs, 2006, p.42). The lesson is able to be interjected comfortably and effectively through the use of Google Docs, creating a more plugged in classroom based upon Hobbs’ statistical data pointing to higher prevalence being beneficial. There will be a required reflection producing heightening engagement, because according to Hobbs (2006), the more integration they do, the more engaged they will become (p.42). By using Google Docs in order to know what is going on (if done outside of the classroom setting, this would be ‘flipping’) will increase engagement. Hood (2012) found increased engagement will lead to increased achievement on final exams (para 10). Flipping the classroom leads to better test scores (and a drop in behavioral disorders) with this method being especially effective for at-risk students.
We can address the specific issues necessary to boost achievement, to lower dropout rate, and to promote better behavior by using Google Docs. Gurian (2010) suggests “creating criteria based on brain-based research” (p.63). What is the research of our day telling us? “Boys get bored more easily,” (p.46) so due to the increased integration, boys, responsible for “90 percent of the discipline problems” (pp.56-57) will be able to theoretically perform at a higher level of achievement (Hood, 2012, para 10) theoretically, due to the live nature of the integrated media Google Doc merger contract because boys are “more prone to attention-getting devices in classrooms” (Gurian, 2010, p.46). Another added benefit of the integrated format is a theoretical decrease in the dropout rate, because the boys are “80 percent of the dropouts” (p.57) when not properly directed “toward [self-perceived, beneficial] social interactions” (p.58) benefitting “creating bonding and attachment communities” (p.61) that the merging associates as a benefit of befriending others. The girls will not be left out in the benefits of media integration either, because “girls tend to choose interactive social activities that allow increased verbalization,” (p.58) and this attention is captured with the social interaction present in the merging negotiating. In these ways, my use of the integrated media technology of Google Docs to do this specific merging assignment is “the best possible classroom for both boys and girls” (p.67).
Learning is best through reinforcement (Miller et al, 2006, p.142) of the visual (Hobbs, 2006, p.36). Arguably, seeing these things using the Google Docs does appeal to the visual learning style. Why use integrated tactics? As stated above, according to Hobbs (2006), with increased viewing comes increased engagement (p.42), so why not inundate them and immerse them in an integrated lesson in order to benefit student learning through repetition of engaging integration?
The Integration of the Media or Technology Into the Lesson
The instructor will come into the room and begin the class with some ideas based upon mergers that have happened in past. Building upon this, the instructor will ask for some ideas for some possible future mergers that may make sense based upon ideas that the class brings up. This will take fifteen minutes. The instructor will then use the overhead to show how to access Google Docs, and show the assignment and the sample. The instructor will ask for questions based upon what is required and then dismiss the students to finding other students that perhaps may enhance the quality of their current business. For more advanced usage, the fictitious companies (the businesses students create) can be switched with real ones and the cash flows studied, and even financially projected). When the task of finding a group is completed (which may take another fifteen minutes), the class should be able to go to and use some computers in order to complete the assignment, which they can work on for the next half hour in order to perfect what they need to present. During the final half hour, the class will be asked to reflect on their individual Google Docs (for twenty minutes) and to share what they learned in the final ten minutes.
My Evaluation of the Media or Technology Integration
I chose to integrate Google Docs because I wanted to convey mergers, their issues, and their negotiations in the best utilized way possible. It is logical to go about bringing it together like this for student mastery of the technology and media, as well as the subject matter because not only is this more along the lines of real-life time issues, but also this is the best medium to work in pertaining to such a serious topic as what will be gained.
This media will help the students learn the specific content about contracts to meet the standard because meeting the standard requires a prerequisite knowledge of the basic business rules, and to incorporate those into something they enjoy will bring their attention. The Google Docs allows a way to share the ideas that each student brings with that foundational subject matter in order to understand how to use the standard, 6.04 Utilize critical-thinking skills to determine best options/outcomes (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02). These integration skills are basic protocol to be business literate, and the best thing that I can give them for the grade level they are able to operate in and appropriate for the class subject matter.
George et al (2013) said, “Google Docs…can safely and effectively introduce aspects of active learning into lecture-based courses, however these technologies have limitations and are no replacement for innovative active learning methods, therefore they are most appropriately seen as complementary resources (p.987). This is reflected in my prompt in the video example asking for the questions and clarifications to be directed at me so that I may guide them through my interaction. Suwantarathip & Wichadee (2014) found “possible confounding variables…could affect the students’ improvement, such as inconvenience of using computers and [lack of] expertise…using Google Docs” (p.154). These aspects will differ depending on the sample set of students, so these needs need to be addressed individually.
Using the media in this way helps to teach the content through the use of increased engagement strategies to improve student learning. Suwantarathip & Wichadee (2014) found that “through online, collaborative written assignments, group discussions, debates and critiques of arguments, students can enhance knowledge construction [by] offering new learning opportunities for both givers and receivers of feedback, humanizing the environment, and building community” (p.149).
How does Google Docs promote a more engaged group? It is due to the positive association students have with Google Docs. Zhou et al (2012) found that “half of the students indicated that they were willing to use Google Docs in the future, [that] 64% considered Google Docs a useful tool for working in a group, and [that] 79% [had] positive rating[s] and [there were] no negative comments [observed]” (p.364). Why is this significant?
Another benefit is the external factor that Google Docs enables. Zhou et al (2012) found that “While using Google Docs, students decreased their use of traditional communicative tools (e.g., Facebook and text messaging) and increased their use of Google Docs” (p.365). There is a possible unforeseen benefit to this: It has the potential of keeping students more on task, as well as giving them less external risks of failure outside of the school or home-related environs, which one could infer that Hood (2012) had implicitly stated as one of the benefits of flipping (para 10).
Suwantarathip & Wichadee (2014) found “Students in the Google Docs group gained higher…scores than those working in groups in a face-to-face classroom. In addition, students reported that they had positive attitudes toward collaborative writing activity and high collaboration in their groups using Google Docs, while nearly all of them perceived that this learning tool is easy to use” (p.148) [leading to] the Google Docs group [having] a better performance than the face-to-face group” (p.154). What was the quality of the work? Zhou et al (2012) found “students wrote longer essays and were able to work on collaborative writing more efficiently, finishing more quickly when using Google Docs as compared to Microsoft Word” (pp.359-360).
How does this use of media meet the standard? This lesson in media integration combines numerous important concepts of business thinking and technical know-how that will be applicable in “customer relations, professional development, and marketing” (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02). In taking ideas for something the student is interested in and trying to find beneficial ways to combine theirs and others’ ideas this amounts to a practice in art of the critical thinking business deal –something that no computer program can teach because it is going to be as varied as the person or team the student will be negotiating with, and will always be as human as the live-time Google Docs, and the creative ways this particular can be used that no other means can handle or do/come up with.
The “critical thinking” (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02) standard is met in an expressive way to show the thought processes in Google Doc histories. Wood (2011) found that “Google Docs is a good tool [because] it [is] easy to use, …submitted electronically, [and] more realistic” (p.159). Bonham (2011) found “Google Docs (spreadsheets and forms) provide an easy and flexible way to collect and manipulate classroom data” (p.23). Spaeth & Black (2012) found, “Instructors who view all students’ work on one computer screen may be quickly alerted to specific…needs” (p.1078) such as to cover what constitutes a feasible and legitimate contract with finite terms in order to meet the assignment. Suwantarathip & Wichadee (2014) found Google Docs as a “learner-centered approach [featuring] immediate feedback,” (p.149) motivate[ing] student inquiry and creat[ing] a context in which collaborative learning occurs,” (pp.148-149) [that] can enhance the quality of student discussion responses” (p.154) [because] “a student must formulate ideas” (p.148), and will be how the critical thinking standard is shown (CCSS.BM-Management.12.6.02).
Google Docs is a one-stop-shop for everything, according to Belcher (2012), due to the ability to “meet virtually in one centralized location with numerous people to discuss and collaborate in real-time to achieve a common goal through social collaboration…and continue learning beyond the classroom walls” (para 5). As Zhou et al (2012) found, “Today’s students rarely meet face-to-face for group projects, but rather they find effective ways to collaborate through e-mails, instant messaging, videoconferencing, and various web-based tools, thus Google Docs is well-suited as a tool for out-of-class collaborative assignments” (p.366).
Presentation rubric from 4.teacher.org: http://www.ncsu.edu/midlink/rub.senst.htm (Senstock, n.d.)
Video example of WordPress integration for Google Docs assignment
If video does not open, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKgU-210sU8&w=560&h=315
In case above does not embed/open, use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQx6WCdv-8M&feature=youtu.be
Through the use of integrated media technologies of instruction we can engage the student to greater levels of achievement through self-motivated student performance (Hobbs, 2006, p.42; Hood, 2012, para 10; Miller et al, 2006, p.142) able to be better exemplified due to the wide range of expression possibilities, as well as being able to reach them faster and with greater precision for help (Spaeth & Black, 2012, p.1078).
In the beginning I thought that we could diversify the delivery methods in order to reach more students’ ways of learning (as in learning methods). I figured this was sound in the form of instructor presentations, but I did not know that media integration would directly produce engagement (Miller et al, 2006, p.142).
I never knew media technologies were tied to student academic performance through student engagement (Hobbs, 2006, p.42; Hood, 2012, para 10; Miller et al, 2006, p.142). I was also unaware that through reasoning we can statistically infer that with greater amounts of integrated media we could possibly and plausibly have rising levels of engagement and thus higher student achievement (Hobbs, 2006, p.42; Hood, 2012, para 10; Miller et al, 2006, p.142; Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014, p.154). There is not presented in the research a point of diminishing return, but if we organize our presentations and flipped (Hood, 2012, para 10) work with greater amounts of technologies integrated into the student product, then there is greater ability to show mastery of concepts due to the abilities to meet outside of the box we know as a classroom (Belcher, 2012, para 5; Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014, p.149; Wood, 2011, p.159; Zhou et al, 2012, p. 366), therefore “humanizing” (Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014, p.149) the engagement due to its “realism” (Wood, 2011, p.159) in the form of access and ease of use (Belcher, 2012, para 5; Wood, 2011, p.159).
My teaching philosophy has changed due to the fact that now I realize I have to, or need to bombard the students’ senses and to inundate their faculties with multiple integrations of media technologies to garner, hold, and keep their attentions (Hobbs, 2006, p.42; Hood, 2012, para 10; Miller et al, 2006, p.142), as well as giving them a varied input method, more “humanized” (Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014, p.149) and thus more equipped at measurement (Wood, 2011, p.159). I feel that the change that has taken place is that now I value highly the usage of media technologies due to their statistical purposing (Hobbs, 2006, p.42; Hood, 2012, para 10; Miller et al, 2006, p.142), and I now know the crucial role they may be allowed to play when the course is properly designed to incorporate their presence. In my own classroom I will work now toward doing things with integrated media technology at every available opportunity knowing that increasing student achievement can be accomplished through the heightened engagement from students’ engagement and from the instructor’s (Bonham, 2011, p.23) and the more natural method (Belcher, 2012, para 5; Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014, p.149; Wood, 2011, p.159; Zhou et al, 2012, p. 366) of learning contributing to increased student learning.
Belcher, K. (2012). Career Clusters™ Institute Series: Why Use Social Media Technologies in the CTE Classroom? Learning that Works for America. Retrieved from http://blog.careertech.org/?p=5931
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Gurian, M. (2010). Boys and girls learn differently! A guide for teachers and parents. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://asulearn.appstate.edu/pluginfile.php/1253117/mod_page/content/22/boys_girls_learn_differently.pdf
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Public Schools of North Carolina State Board of Education. (2011). Retrieved from http://dpi.state.nc.us/docs/cte/program-areas/business/programs/blueprint/businessmanagement.pdf
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Zhou, W., Simpson, E., & Domizi, D. P. (2012). Google Docs in an Out-of-Class Collaborative Writing Activity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 24(3), 359-375. Retrieved from http://0-eds.a.ebscohost.com.wncln.wncln.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=55613d56-76bf-4b5d-b712-1e98cb9abc22%40sessionmgr4004&hid=4211