September 4, 2017
In one of my other posts, I wrote about using Google Docs to create a custom recipe book for my mother. This got me thinking about how I can adapt this idea to the classroom, in this case, my “classroom” being staff training. We have had quite a bit of GAFE training in the past year and have arrived at an awkward point. Most of the staff is not comfortable enough with GAFE to warrant organising an advanced session, but there is no point in doing some more basic training. I left them at this stage for about six months, to give them some time to get familiar with GAFE. But now it was time to take it a step further. 

We know that kids learn better by doing, but often when we arrange professional development, we expect teachers just to sit and listen. So instead of organising another staff training session, I decided to do some “project based learning” with the staff. We are going to create our own recipe book, to showcase the advantages of collaboration in Google Docs.

I spend a bit of time creating a template for our recipe book
I wanted to show-off Google Docs, so I include nice to have features like an auto-generated Table of Contents. I put the recipes in tables, to give it a more professional look to the book. Once people have typed their recipes I will set the table borders to 0pt to make them invisible.  By encouraging them to add a photo of their food, they will see how convenient it is to take a picture with your phone and insert into a document. And we all know how everybody love to photograph their food. 

I gave the staff was given the following instructions:

  • Each person needs to add at least two recipes (you are welcome to do more)  to the book by the start of next term. If you are not sure how to do it, get somebody to help you with the first one and do the second you by yourself. 
  • The recipes can be anything from the family favourite comfort food to you signature gourmet dish.
  • During this time, you also need to use and comment on at least one other person’s recipe. 
  • Feel free to add more categories and other nice features to the recipe book. The aim is to create the most beautiful possible product between all of us. 

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