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Ballarat Secondary College

Presentations update.

Well my presentation is done. Wish I could be as clear as some of my students who recently participated in the “Peter Doherty Science Awards”. One group won the communication award!

Participating in writing reports in google+ has given them the chance to share and evaluate each other’s writing. I did forget to mention this in our presentation, and I’m really proud of the ways they were able to communicate both online, but also in the classroom, using technology, but only were it was appropriate. Both teams expressed their “Curiosity and Wonder” by conducting simple experiments, things they “always wanted to learn about” from primary school.

Where to next?

20/11 To finish off the unit, I’m going to have students get onto the community and attempt to put down some “posts”. Basically about anything “science related” that they think others would like to know about. Do a little research, and make a comment as a post to share with the community.

Some student feedback.  16/11

Using Google+ for writing science reports

Will discuss this at the presentation on Friday.

Nearly at the end of the Road.

With my Year 10’s preparing for exams in the next few weeks, and the last of the prac reports completed, we will be moving away from our faithful friend (both loved and hated), Google+. I know that some students have enjoyed using it, and it has been good for some students to get their Prac’s reported on, but for others it has been far less useful. Would like to collect some feedback to share with you all.

We’re Cooking with Gas.

We are finally getting in the groove. Students have inserted graphs into the documents, and are using the table function too. Less moans and groans about using Google+, and some students now just using old fashioned pen and paper.

Those that choose to, are really finding it good, and particularly some of the challenging boys who rarely want to get involved and write up their experiments anyway.

Today we had the first person try to “change someone’s results”, as you can in a shared document. This idea was whisked away, at the thought that re-entering data could be tedious.

Generally, the experiments are doing well, and we are able to distribute information efficiently too. I’m not sure that the outcomes for practical work are better for all, but it allows more time, as prac’s are quicker to write up collaboratively, and as such there is also quite a bit more talking about what is being recorded, and discussion.

Signing off from another day in the Lab.

Playing with cars and technology…

The first experiment involved using toy cars to model the forces on real cars, when travelling on a slope, on smooth and rough surfaces, and carrying additional weight. Students were to design an experiment using rulers, toy cars and stopwatches, to calculate the average speed for each condition.

While the experiment was fine, we had some teething problems with google docs, as I had set up sharing with the class community, but didn’t manage to enable them to edit it. When the settings were finally changed on the fly (I had to read the “help” during the lesson), Students were able to begin writing into the document. Not much written down, so hoping they recorded their results in pen/paper form at least.

Playing around with Physics

Will try again next week.

BTW. Two girls in the class, totally lost the plot and went off to see the AP about me using and getting them to post their work online. Wish they had talked with me first, rather than jumping to conclusions, b/c the only people who can see their work is their classmates that are signed into the community. Fortunately the AP was supportive, and is keen to have us try new technology, explaining to the girls that at uni, lots of work is done and submitted online, and that this truly is a future learning need.


In the last week of term 2 I was a bit disheartened, when one of my students was adamant that “My dad won’t let me use google+, so I can’t go on it” when questioned, he made some comments about his Dad not wanting to contact me about it. Got a few grizzles from others who have already set up (in the past), google+ accounts, and were not very excited about using it in school.

Term 4 week one, that was a bit of a let down too, when issues with the network stopped us accessing the internet, just as we were going to get logged on, but today was quite good!!!

9 students now logged into google+ with accounts, and all 9 are now on the BSCW Science 10C Community! (including the aforementioned reluctant student). Tomorrow we begin to use the google documents I have added links to on the community. We start with a simple experiment, will just have to make sure that one person logged on is in each group.

4 Comments to

“Ballarat Secondary College”

  1. September 4th, 2013 at 4:35 am      Reply lindastacey Says:

    I’m planning on using the Google Docs to get students to see how others in the class are structuring their results in a Scientific Report. We will use the document to share the write up, and to compare the results obtained by each group, but it is also a means of students evaluating the quality of their own responses, and writing a good discussion.

    We are looking at improving student outcomes in an area of scientific report writing. Hopefully the medium of online and social networking through this mode proves to be engaging.
    We will be using samples of good writing along the way, and some ideas for better use of procedural language.

    Have set up two documents; A “Shared Glossary” and a “Logbook of Experiments”, which we will add to throughout term four.

    Letters have been sent home to parents informing them of our intent to use google+. Will be setting up accounts later this term.

  2. September 12th, 2013 at 5:31 am      Reply vikkic Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Do all the kids need to set up google plus accounts to access this?


    • September 12th, 2013 at 9:12 am      Reply Linda Stacey Says:

      Vikki, I believe they do. I have older students, so all I did was sent home a notification to parents that they would need to set up a google+ account, and how we would be using the application in class. I might post up the letter I have used soon.

  3. September 12th, 2013 at 11:04 pm      Reply vikkic Says:

    Hi Linda, That’s what I thought. Jenny and I were looking at it last night and we were concerned about the fact that they can access that email account from home and how do we monitor what is going on at home? We were just worried about it been used for bullying etc and we almost can’t really control what is been said or check up on them. I suppose with older students it’s not as big a deal.

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