I know everyone is ready for that first bright day when our students return to socialize and learn. But here are a few ideas for using Google Apps, including an activity for Veterans Day: a short 150 word essay on the simple topic "Honor All Veterans." This was sponsored by our local VFW last year, but two of my students carried it further, and if you use Google Apps, you might want to try this, or adapt it to another project.
Google Docs is our tool to learn and write together. Here is an example of a project two of my students created for the rest of our class to do. Veterans Day
Here's our scaffolded graphic organize to gather ideas before their project that include nouns, verbs, imagery, connections. Veterans Prewrite
My students access our Google Class website for their assignments with links to the needed documents. Students make a copy according to the directions. Note: if you look at this before school starts, it won't have assignments. :)
Other ways to use Google Docs:
Backchannel: Create a link to ONE document and all students add notes to that page during discussion or when watching a video.
We also use Google Docs to scaffold note-taking on group or individual research projects. Just create the Graphic Organizer for your thoughtful questions or summary quick writes. Students can create their own or add to one document to share with the class.
Rather than using Google Groups, I prefer having my class website for students to access assignments -- links to websites or our Google Docs. You could create an assignment page for each class.
Google Apps is free, and we have added Teacher Dashboard by Hapara. There is a cost to this, but it is the best for managing and monitory Google Apps for students. I can see what each student by class has added and when, hover over the document for a preview, and click to add feedback or assess. I highly recommend this.
Have a great year engaging students in their, and your own, learning!