Through reading the first chapter of “Retool Your School,” watching the “How Google Transformed My School” presentation, and looking over “Google for Educators” and the eSchool News article, I am a firm believer in incorporating Google Apps into my classroom! Google has made many FREE applications available to the public (and especially educators). These apps can help create a communicatory, collaborative, organized, technology-friendly, student-centered environment within the school system.
“Google Docs is an easy-to-use online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation editor that enables you and your students to create, store and share instantly and securely, and collaborate online in real time. You can create new documents from scratch or upload existing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. There’s no software to download, and all your work is stored safely online and can be accessed from any computer.” (http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html) As an educator, Google Docs could help promote group work and peer editing. As a teacher at CIS 339 stated in the “How Google Transformed My School” presentation, because of the Google Apps, students were able to stay organized, on top of their assignments, and had an excitement about what they were doing!
Another application, Google Calendar, “is an easy way for teachers, administrators and students to share time-related info like team schedules, assignment deadlines and school holidays.” Google Calendar can also help students keep track of all of their schedules. It allows for coaches, parents, teachers, and administrators to input information, dates, and times, while seeing what else is “on the student’s plate.” It is truly an efficient way to keep track of everyone’s schedules!
Google Apps for Education can enable teachers, students, parents, and administrators to work together, stay organized, and get excited about learning! Check out the Google for Educators site for more tools and more information!
I definitely encourage you to check it out!