Groups is a service from Google that provides discussion groups for people sharing common interests. Members are sharing files, posting ideas and conducting discussions via email. All emails sent to the Group are archived for future reference and are easily searchable.

Two ways to use groups as:

STUDENTS

  • share ideas, store documents, organize web resources as they work in project teams
  • share latest news and announcements

TEACHERS

  • make class hangouts, reading materials, assignments, and web links available to students and their parents
  • send email announcements to parents
  • centralize resources and communication for professional learning communities

Here is some instructional ideas:

Use Google Groups to help students develop arguments for persuasive essay and speeches. The teacher creates a different discussion thread for each topic being debated in class. Students post their opinions on assigned topics and include at least two links to web resources that support their arguments. Each student is asked to respond to three other student messages with their own arguments for or against the issue. Once completed, students have a wide variety of opinions and resources to draw from before writing a persuasive essay or giving a formal presentation. This example is great for ‘Digital Debate Project’ for Grades 8-12.

Another example is to set up a parent-child book club. Students and parents read the book together at home and then respond to the discussion questions you post to the group.

Create an online study group. Each day assign one student to post class notes as a new page in the Group. Then ask students to respond to reflection or review questions in the discussion area.