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Why Go Google? To Optimize Your Life!

posted Aug 11, 2015, 10:53 AM by Shawn Beard

When discussing the use of Google Apps for Education, many people question it.  Why go Google?  Here are a few things to consider about using Google Tools:
  • You can go paperless - Google Drive and Google Classroom open up the possibility of pushing assignments out to students via email.   Just drop in a Google Doc or provide a link for an assignment, and add a due date.  Classroom does the rest.  Docs become live, so students can fill them in and turn them in online.  Plus, with Classroom and 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 Google Drive Folder or Doc, you can work from anywhere at any time with others in real time.  Shared folders are great for collaborating as a team, department, or student group.  No more student groups huddling around one computer to work on the same digital assignment.  

  • Put Google to work for you - There are tons of Apps, ExtensionsAdd Ons  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!  Try Flubaroo for grading assignments using a Google Form. Add EasyBib in Google Docs for creating bibliographies.  There are tons more in the Chrome Web Store.

  • Google Maps - Google My Maps is not integrated with Google Drive.  This tool allows users to create their own map, complete with images, video, or information uploaded from a Google Sheet.  Use Google Maps to create a story board or timeline of a topic, book, or author.

In an effort to help teachers understand the world of possibilities this opens up to them, here are a few links I have found to be helpful with Google Apps and Google Drive. 

For more tips and ideas from the web, follow me on our Google Educators of Oklahoma page on Facebook - Google Educators of Oklahoma or click on one of the tabs above for a tutorial!