This entire year I’ve tried something new. I’ve moved all of my class’s writing to Google Docs — all of it. In previous years I’ve used Google Docs for one or two papers, but this year all of it was in Google Doc. And I love it.
Now we are at the end of the year and my kids have to put together their writing portfolios. In our district, every student has a writing portfolio that follows them from year to year so teachers and the student themselves can witness their own growth and improvement. Until now, my students have had written papers or papers printed out that were included in the folders that made the portfolios. However, my media specialist (who has held my hand through my entire transition to be a Google Doc-lover) and I want to work on moving the portfolios to go electronic on our network.
Today we gave it an attempt. We are not yet ready to completely depend on it and unroll it for everyone, but with the help of the technology facilitator at the high school and my school’s media specialist, we’re figuring it out.
Here’s the thing I’m learning about firsts: it comes with failures. Learning cannot occur without figuring out the wrong way to do things. This morning as we tried to walk my students through the process of creating these portfolios and during the course of the last two years as I have adopted Google Docs as a classroom tool, I’ve made lots of goof ups. Things have occurred that brought me challenges and frustrations that I did not anticipate. We attempted a few things this morning that absolutely did not work, but by the end of the day, I think we were happy with what we came up with. And this process of failing forward may be the best part of undertaking new things.