Can Google Drive be an effective tool for teacher collaboration in a primary school setting?
I feel i have always been able to hold my own when it comes to technical / IT things. My brother (almost exactly one year older) and I grew up in the 70s and 80s during, what seemed to us at the time, a technical revolution. Our pocket money was converted to 20c pieces and spent almost entirely on arcade games, we had a home computer from a fairly early age and we even learned how to programme the VCR. My parents to this day remain technophobes, with a high level of learned helplessness, but they must have recognised the dawning importance of the silicon chip and the part it would play in tomorrow's world.
What i am saying is that i feel that i would class myself as technically 'on to it' and literate. Schools i have been involved have, in general terms, been happy for me to follow my ICT passions within the school and have been adequately resourced to do so.
However... I have noticed recently that my once broad repertoire of skills, programmes and applications have narrowed significantly. I now rely on a few 'old faithfuls' to get the job done and find i become intimidated and reticent towards the introduction of new tools into my work life. Case in point; Moodle/Learn took a lot of getting used to when i first started my post graduate study. So when teachers at our school started using and sharing Google applications through Google Drive, i watched from a distance. As the momentum grew among the 'on to it' staff i braced myself for my eventual inclusion.
Over the past school term i have seen the myriad of benefits in its use. At a senior management level we are using it as a 'real time' collaborative planing and writing tool. It has been amazing to sit together and complete a series of smaller tasks individually that contribute to a larger, more complex piece of work collectively - all at the same time.
So the time is ripe for us to make a change, the stars are aligning and an opportunity has presented itself. But i also know that if i felt uneasy about climbing on the bandwagon that many of our teachers, some of whom i know are intimidated by technology, will struggle to (want to) become involved too.
A change model that acknowledges the difficulties (technical, motivational and pedagogical) that some will face will be an important aspect of the project.
I have had a quick search of articles which returned a couple of magazine articles on the specific subject, so i may have to broaden it slightly to find research done around collaborative teacher planning.
At the moment these are my big questions:
What does research say about collaborative teacher planning?
What are the best tools for carrying out synchronous planning?
How do i get everybody in the school involved without causing conflict?