21st Century Peer Editing

Joseph Cicero, 2012 CCTE Fellow, Integrated Arts and Technology High School, Rochester, NY

When I was in grade school we had to write several drafts before writing the final copy. Along the process, usually at the penultimate stage, the teacher would instruct us to pass our papers to our neighbors and commence peer editing. After receiving comments, I would rewrite my essay using the feedback. Writing, rewriting, editing, and writing a final copy made the process drag on for weeks.  Online peer editing shortens the time frame.

Anyone with a gmail account has Google Drive, a free online collaboration tool that contains online apps resembling those found in Microsoft Office. What makes Google Drive a better alternative is the ability for students to share their documents with each other. Students click share and add a peer reviewer (students can restrict what the editor can do: leave comments or edit document). Students can also share their document with the teacher who can grade them without ever having to physically hold the documents.

Having multiple editors holds students accountable and promotes the writing process without constant rewriting. Sharing, commenting, and editing on the free Google Drive platform is a great choice for a teacher who wants to have students write great essays in less time and without paper.


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