If you think this is frivolous, think again! The video below shows students using Google Spreadsheets to secure a prom date for their friend. If you look at this, it may seem like a superficial misuse of technology. I disagree. Let me start by saying that, because I teach in a free-range media school, these students have access to Facebook in school all day. In many instances, students looking to make prom arrangements would use Facebook to do so, particularly if they had access to it in school. But these kids didn’t. They chose Google Spreadsheets because they were evaluating a number of factors and they wanted to make comparisons by changing sorting criteria. This is an excellent example of applying existing knowledge to new situations to increase productivity. Students recognized that they had a problem to solve, assessed the tasks that needed to be performed, evaluated productivity tools and solved the problem. Are you wondering why they chose Google Spreadsheets over Excel? They wanted to work on their spreadsheet simultaneously with four other students. They can only do that in the cloud.
Look at their devices. Sophie and Megan are using one of the school library’s iPads, and Chris is using his phone (we also have a BYOD policy – we encourage students to use their own devices for productivity). Because they were collaborating on the same spreadsheet but from different places in the library, using these devices helped them work faster and allowed them to hang out with their friends while working on the “project.” You remember high school right? To kids, this is just as important a project as their latest research paper for history, if not more so.
How did I get their permission to show this video on my blog? I asked them for permission on Facebook. All four involved parties (one is not shown, but his name is mentioned if you listen carefully) responded within three minutes – from home at 9:15 PM on the Thursday before vacation.
About the prom date? IDK. I’ll ask how it’s going…probably on Facebook.