Come up with scenarios in which several characters might interact in a Google Doc. For a history class, encourage your students to simulate conversations that led to turning points in history, such as the writing of the Declaration of Independence or the plans for the D-day invasion during World War II. In an ELA class, encourage your students to choose characters from a novel or short story and see how they might interact in text like this. Encourage your students to think about what they're seeing on-screen. What do characters convey by what they type or don't type? What does it mean to have them delete another character's writing? How might this tool help students reveal major aspects of characters' personalities and motivations?Continue reading Show less
Editor's note: The Gone Google Story Builder website is no longer accessible.
Gone Google Story Builder is a web-based tool that lets users create a video "story" that takes place within a Google Doc. Basically, students enter text and then watch it play back in a video sequence. To create a story, first create a few characters; these are the people who will be typing in your simulated Google Doc. Then, hit "Write Story" and start creating your story. You can switch characters and see their names appear on the cursors as if they're users editing a Google Doc in real time. You can also add music to add some emotion (such as suspense or silliness) to your video. Then, you can title your creation and share it with friends via a link.
It's certainly a fun gag to see different characters interacting in text in real time and will get students thinking critically about sequencing dialogue. As with other web-based tools that let you simulate social media posts, Gone Google Story Builder is an amusing way to think about how characters in the present or the past might behave as collaborators in a Google Doc. It also helps students think about historical context and different modes of writing. That being said, this is definitely a one-trick pony. You and your students will quickly exhaust its few features, and you might find its usefulness in your classroom very limited. There aren't a ton of opportunities for customization. For example, there are no voice-over options, and you can't easily embed your creation in another app or on another website. In general, this is a neat trick, but you'll need to then look elsewhere for more engaging, flexible ways for your students to think imaginatively about tech tools.
Key Standards Supported
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.