Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

5 Reasons to use an Online Journal in the Drama Classroom

Drama teacher Joshua Hatt started using Google Drive as a response to the frustration of having his students lose curriculum booklets time and time again. His work developed into a powerful online home whereby students and teachers can communicate, contribute, collaborate, edit, and house all their documents online.

Here, Josh shares 5 reasons why you should incorporate the online Journal (using Google Drive) into your classroom.

Check out his course, Google Drive in the Drama Classroom, in the Drama Teacher Academy!

1. Harness the power of reflection.
  • Reflection is such a powerful tool in the drama classroom. Students who can reflect and use their analytical skills are the students who learn and can connect their drama to various situations in real-life contexts.
  • Thoughtful journalers are better prepared to articulate their intentions, plans and goals. They can also distinguish between needs and wants in a performance, based on the experiences with devising script work and improvisations.
  • Online journalling takes it to the next level!
2. Plan with the end in mind.
  • Presenting an online journal workbook at the beginning of the year helps both you, the teacher, and your students stay on track.
  • As educators, we always need to know where our students should end up in order to scaffold them correctly. A journal helps get us there.
3. Don’t lose any papers!
  • By moving to an online journal through Google, students are able to reflect on their work using actual photographs, video files, and audio as tools for more meaningful reflection exercises.
  • Creating this online resource means no more carting journals back and forth, having students lose their curriculum books, or wasted time hunting through files. It’s all right there on Google Drive, 24/7.
4. Engage in meaningful, timely feedback.
  • Google Docs allow for ‘commenting’ by anyone sharing the document – it’s a teacher’s feedback dream come true!
  • This real-time function allows you the opportunity to communicate with your students right away. Rather than giving them feedback formatively and having to wait until you cart your journals all the way back to the classroom, they get feedback instantly and can access it anywhere!
5. Collaborate in real time, wherever you are!
  • Students these days are all about chat and text – that’s their online language. If you’re using Google for journalling, you can enable the Chat feature and you can actually chat with your students live as they work.
  • Another way to use this feature is to set up some online office hours. You can access the journal from wherever you are. Students can ask you questions in the chat forum and get instant help.
  • Students can even chat with each other if they are sharing their journals with each other – amazing for collaboration.

Are you sold? Are you ready to implement Google Drive in your classroom and try the online journal approach?

Click here to see an example of a Journal you can use on Google Drive for drama students.

If you want to learn more and get the hands-on skills to implement this in your classroom, check out Josh’s course Google Drive in the Drama Classroom, available at the Drama Teacher Academy – for a preview, see the video below!

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