I got quite a few e-mails with questions about journaling on Google Drive as I outlined in this post a few weeks ago. Since you asked, I thought I’d go a bit more in-depth about the setup, peer editing uses, and why it’s something you should definitely incorporate to tech up your classroom!
My favorite author, Edgar Allan Poe, enjoyed creating and deciphering cryptograms. A few years ago, after I taught my kids that fun fact, I started to put cryptograms in their work that, when deciphered, gave the title of our next Poe story. They were hard, and they took time and effort to solve. They were not graded, and they were not mandatory, yet the kids did them anyway because they were fun. When I heard about gamification a year ago, and began to experiment with it in my class, I kept thinking to myself how cool it would be if I could combine gamification with the fun my kids had solving cryptograms.
I racked my brain. I thought it would be even cooler if I could make these puzzles meaningful. If i could make them an integral part of a mystery my kids could unravel during the year; really make my class into a video game and make them the main characters. Last March, I realized what I wanted to do was to turn my classroom into a yearlong Alternate Reality Game (ARG). Now that my students have figured out the basics of the ARG, it’s safe to tell you how I am turning my classroom into the world’s first, (as far as I know) yearlong classroom ARG.
There are a lot of things you can do to move your classroom into the Twenty-First century. A great, easy way to get started is to tech up your Do Now. I tech up my Do Now with Google Drive and Poll Everywhere.