GoogleApps in Action! This is One Cool Book Report Project!

I remember having to write book reports for high school English. It was, sadly, not one of my most pleasant memories from my youth. I would slave away (usually the night before it was due) on an old typewriter (yes, typewriter!). After reaching the required length, I'd wrap it up, hand it in, and never think about it again!

Fast forward from 1982 to 2011, and check out what kids at Cole High School are doing. In our AP Junior English class, our teacher Mrs. Garatoni divided her students into groups. Each choose a socially relevant non-fiction book to study. Then, instead of writing a standard old book report, they used Google Apps for Education and each group created a website for their book report.

Mrs. Garatoni outline the key elements that had to be on each website and I taught the kids how to build them. Rather I should say I gave the kids their username and password information and got the heck out of their way! They took to it like a duck to water!

I applaud Mrs. Garatoni for having the guts to allow her students to demonstrate their knowledge in a manner out of her comfort zone. She doesn't know how to create a website, but that wasn't important to her. She knew that her students could do it if given the chance. And, she knew that by having them create websites that others could visit, they would have an "authentic audience" to share their knowledge with. Google Apps also allowed them to work on this project collaboratively over the internet, so there was a great deal of planning and teamwork involved. This activity truly engaged her students!

I created a shell to link to all of their project and you can find it at: https://sites.google.com/a/fsh.echalk.com/non-fiction/

Not all the websites are complete yet, but they are taking shape. Heck, they;re not due for two weeks!Check them out! Any comments made her or via email will be shared with these great students!

Image from: http://www.delano.k12.mn.us/images/DES/teachers/heidebrink/book_report.jpg

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