Saturday, October 27, 2007

Google Docs in school?

Here's a good one:
This year, I wanted to hold elections for orchestra officers at the middle school. The idea, was that 8th graders would take a leadership role and set a good example for the 7th and 6th graders. So, I asked for nominations, got a few (a lot less than I expected, but oh well), and we voted. Now I have a president, vice president, and secretary/librarian. (Next year, we will need a 4th position to handle orchestra activity funds).

My officers have been working very hard on projects ranging from creating folders for each student (grades 3-12, not just middle school) and putting the music in them, to planning the concert program, a post-concert reception, and even community performance opportunities. They've taken a leadership role in helping the fresh, 6th graders understand a very confusing schedule (it's the best we can do, so they're making it work!), and have asked about "internships" when they get to the high school.

While I'm absolutely impressed with all they've done, I can't help but think that creating some of these documents like sign-up sheets, letters to area businesses, the concert programs, etc would be better suited for online collaboration like Google Docs because they would all be able to contribute, from anywhere, and I would be able to have edit rights before printing a copy (saves trees!). If they had Google accounts, I could also allow access to my "Northern Strings" Google Calendar which helps me keep track of the 6-day cycle schedules, and concert/meeting/performance/fundraising events.

Really, the possibilities are endless. But, with all that said, here's my question (finally!):

What kind of approvals and "c.y.a." am I going to need to be able to put this type of collaboration into effect? Does this continue to be covered by AUP, online safety, etc? Leave thoughts in the comments.

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