Want to see something that is really boring but incredibly powerful?
Take a look at the screencast below. It’s a student and I proofreading an essay together — live, from different places — on Google Docs.
It’s simple: I highlight places on the student’s essay where I see errors, and then the student makes changes. We use the chat box to ask questions, get hints, and reflect on what we’ve learned.
Here’s a five-minute snippet (if you can handle it!):
This virtual proofreading process takes about five to 10 minutes and has been much more popular for my students, who dislike coming after school, than real-life conferences.
Proofreading on Google Docs is not ideal, of course. Much deeper learning could be done in person. But until I figure out a way for more students to stick around school, I’ll make do using a bit of tech.