Using Google Docs to Teach About The Day of The Dead in Mexico

The American School Foundation in Mexico City is a large private school that due to its nature receives new staff members each year. In an effort to help them navigate our large school as well as our large city, an extensive mentoring program has been developed by the Human Capital office and The Center for Teaching Excellence. As an American who has lived in Mexico for eighteen years I have developed an appreciation for the Day of the Dead traditions in Mexico City. I suggested combining my work as a Digital Literacy Coach with my cultural knowledge to provide a short technology lesson related to using Google forms with a cultural lesson about Day of the Dead. The other Digital Literacy Coach and myself developed a Google form that could be used by the teachers to learn more about the holiday, modelling how teachers could use it in their classrooms. We also created a collaborative Google Doc including a list of suggested things to do and see in Mexico City. Our goal was to teach about  using forms and docs in collaborative ways as well as to share cultural information making the session relevant to teachers who were new to Mexico as well as tapping into the resources that our Mexican teachers can provide. Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 3.25.13 PM

During the mentoring session I introduced why I like the Day of the Dead, asked teachers to divide themselves into groups with at least Mexican teacher and at least one device in each group. They were asked to work together in teams to fill out the form and told that the first team to finish would win a prize.  At the end they were able to access the Google Doc which was meant to be a sharable resource to help them enjoy the Day of the Dead in Mexico.

The results were that teachers got to know each other better, learned from the Mexican teachers about a local tradition and were able to see how technology skills could be used to create an interactive, collaborative lesson.  At the end of the session everyone was given a piece of pan de muerto. Sharing resources, learning a few new tricks in Google forms and docs and trying a local treat provided to be the perfect combination for professional development and mentoring.

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