Three Ways to Use Google Docs in Your Judaic Classroom

August 28, 2011

Source: YU 2.0


Adam Simon in a post on YU 2.0 gives three interesting examples of how Judaic studies teachers can effectively utilize Google Docs to enrich their lessons. He shows how to utilize the special characteristics of this free online software: always available online from anywhere, real-time collaborative editing and reviewing, excellent Right to Left and Hebrew support.


He gives detailed descriptions of three tools which he has created for three levels of Judaic Studies students:

  • Beginners

    By leveraging the collaboration and commenting features of Google Docs, he developed a lesson for teaching textual skills with a strong focus on root-word identification and sentence structure. He has implemented this lesson for teaching Chumash and Rashi skills to high-school freshman.

    Goal: Get students to work together to translate texts and learn how to use root-words to aid their ability to do so.

  • Intermediate:

    By using the same features as the above lesson, as well as hyper-links and nested comments, he was able to create a virtual chabura and hyper-text document for students to study together.

    Goal: Create a document which would allow students to learn a text in context, to see the primary sources being quoted, and emulate a chabura learning environment virtually.

  • Advanced:

    The final lesson is actually fairly basic from a technological perspective, it doesn't really use any of the advanced tools of Google Docs, outside of real-time collaboration, but it's subject matter is more advanced than the previous two exercises. Based on Hirschian linguistic theory that words which share phonetic similarity (phonetic cognates) also share core meaning, he devised this lesson to visually show high-school seniors word structure based on phonetic linguistics.

    Goal: To have students dissect a text collaboratively based on the phonetic breakdown of words and visually show them the connection between words.

Updated: Nov. 09, 2011