Google Your Education with Google Apps for Education

What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something?  Why you Google it of course.  Well, Google isn’t just the go-to for every day questions; Google has a suite of apps that are showing up in classrooms across the country.

So, let’s go over some of the Google Apps for Education and how they are applicable in the classroom.

Google Docs

  • Educational Application: Students can create documents that are similar to Word documents for free.  Research papers and even short answer assignments can be created in Google Docs and sent to the teacher.  This application can also be used for collaborative purposes.  Documents can be shared with other collaborators and edited in real time form anywhere with an internet connection.  No face-to-face meetups required.
  • Student Benefit: This is a free word processor, all students have to do is create a Google mail account.  These apps are all web-based (they also have apps for iPhone and Android), so students don’t have to worry about computer crashes or corrupted USB drives.
  • Teacher Benefit: Electronic versions of assignments negate the need for satchels filled with papers.  Also, there is a “revision history” option that allows teachers to look at different versions of the paper as well as who contributed what and when.  The docs are also downloadable.

Google Slides

  • Educational Application: Students can create presentations that are similar to PowerPoint presentations for free.  Any assignment that requires a presentation can be done through this application.  This application can also be used to create collaborative presentations.  Collaborators can create seamless presentations regardless of the amount of contributors.
  • Student Benefit: This is a free presentation tool, all students have to do is create a Google mail account.  This allows for stress-free in-class presentations. Well, stress free in the sense that students don’t have to worry about not being able to retrieve their project.
  • Teacher Benefit: Teachers can access the Google Slides the same way they can access Google Docs.  The presentation is downloadable and a web-based electronic copy removes any issues of e-mail attachments not downloading or USB drives corrupting or not being compatible with the teacher’s workstation.

Google Sheets

  • Educational Application: Google Sheets is a free way for students to create Excel-esque sheets.  Business classes as well as classes that require students to keep an external record of their grade would find this application useful.  As with the other applications, Google Sheets can be edited in real time.
  • Student Benefit: This application is also free to students with a Google e-mail address.
  • Teacher Benefit: As with the other applications, the Google Sheets are downloadable and come with a revision history.

Google Sites

  • Educational Application: With this Google App, students can create their very own websites.  This is a great way for students to create e-portfolios to showcase their projects.
  • Student Benefit: Using a website as a free portfolio is an easy way to send colleges their best work as part of their application process.
  • Teacher Benefit: E-portfolios are a great way to track student progress both within the school year and across their academic career.  With access to student e-portfolios teachers will be able to access the work from previous years and therefore get a better idea on how to differentiate for the individual students.

Google Hangouts

  • Educational Application: Got a collaborative project, but your schedule won’t let you meet face to face?  How about a parent-teacher conference where the parent cannot make it to the school?  Google Hangouts is a free app that allows you to have virtual face time.
  • Student Benefit: Outside of class collaboration can take place over the Internet without having to set up times when everyone can meet in person.  No longer will practices and work schedules impede student ability to collaborate.
  • Teacher Benefit: Teachers can use Google Hangouts to conduct parent-teacher conferences, and Google Hangouts is also a great way to conduct professional development.  Teachers can collaborate across the school/county/state/country while never leaving their classrooms. There is also a record function if you so desire.

Google Classroom

  • Google classroom is a new Learning Management System (LMS) that will premiere for the 2014-2015 school year.  This LMS promises to be free, have easy integration with the other Google Apps for Education, and ease of communication between teachers and students.  We’ll have to keep an eye on this up and coming venture to see if it becomes as popular in the classroom as some of the other applications.

Contact us for more information on using Google Apps for Education and how our experts at HTML can help you get the most out of these robust programs. We look forward to helping you improve your classroom experience!