This week, teachers in our district received their Teacher Login for Google Apps for Education. When I teach classes on Google Drive and Google Apps, I often get skeptics who aren’t sure why they would take the plunge. Many just don’t want to let go of the things they have traditionally relied on. With that, here are a few reasons I give for the switch:
- You can go paperless – Google Drive and Google Classroom let open up the possibility of pushing assignments out to students in the form of a link to a Google Doc, which students can copy and then fill in. Then they can resubmit the lesson for grading. Plus, inside Google Drive, you can comment on student work and share it back with them in real time, meaning they can receive feedback immediately – with no need to wait on papers to be passed back.
- No more flash drives! – I used to carry around a small case that held all of my flash drives so I would always have my documents with me. But with Google Drive, you can have all of your files with you as long as you have access to the internet. That means on a computer, your phone, your tablet – anywhere! But often people say, “what happens if the internet goes down?” If you download Google Drive to your computer, your files are synced from the web to your computer – so you have a backup!
- Publish your files to the web! – If you have presentations that you use in class or in meetings, you can publish your Google Slide presentation to the web or embed it on your Google Site. Then any changes you make in the future will be available on your site and with others you have shared in real time.
- Collaboration – By sharing a doc, you can work from anywhere at any time with others in real time.
- Put Google Drive to work for you – There are tons of Add Ons and Scripts that allow you to put Google to work for you. For instance, in our Virtual Academy program, I have a form that I use for enrollment. Our counselors fill the form to let me know what courses our online students need. Once the counselor submits the form entry, a script called Autocrat automatically merges their selections with a document that is emailed to me!
In an effort to help our teachers understand the world of possibilities this opens up to them, I am also publishing a few links I have found to be helpful with Google Apps and Google Drive.
- Lesson Plan Submission – Paperless Grading
- Literacy and Google A Day Challenges
- Google for Education Links
- Google Apps for Education Lesson Plans
- Google Earth Lesson Plans
- Video: 32 Ways to Use Google Apps in the Classroom
- Admins – Using Autocrat and Google Forms for Teacher Submitted Lesson Plans
- Using Google SketchUp in the ClassroomLesson Planet: Ideas for Using Google Docs in the Classroom
- Tutorials – Google Drive
- Google Apps and the Flipped Classroom