Thursday, February 3, 2011

Collaborative Data Collection Using Google Apps

To help familiarize my 9th grade students with Google Docs, I set up a simple collaborative data collection exercise involving M&M's. I gave one small bag to each group of three students. They opened the bag and separated them by color, adding the totals to the spreadsheet that I had prepared in advance for them. Once their data was collected they were allowed to consume their data!

This was the first time most of my students had seen the collaborative capabilities of Google Docs. They were fascinated by the colored squares (representing all of the users currently editing the document) on the spreadsheet. The real-time aspect of Google Docs was a huge hit with them.

Interested in trying this out with your students? Here is a link to the spreadsheet that I created to collect our M&M data. You will need to save a copy in order to edit the document.

On Friday I'll be posting the second project I did with my 9th graders-- collaborative story writing.

1 comment:

  1. I add a dimension to this activity. After we have counted, we go outside and they are allowed to throw the m&m's at me while I stand in a grassy area. They love it. Then I tell them they have 30 seconds to pick up as many as they can and the person who collects most wins their own bag.

    We bring the picked up m&m's into the classroom and remake our graphs. As you might expect we have much fewer greens and browns in comparison. This gets them thinking about why (explaining data) and also leads into conversations about adaptation and camouflage.


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