|Posted on 25 February, 2013 at 20:55|
Help Desk: Google Apps
Q: How do I use Google Apps in the classroom?
Google Apps is entering the education domain and will transform the way teachers facilitate learning and the way their students collaborate and communicate in the classroom. Google Apps is revolutionising the way educators can create and deliver curriculum content. Their products permit teachers in both primary and secondary schools to remove their classroom walls, as boundaries and parameters that we have been working within are now removed.
Google Apps is more than just installing a few Apps on your iPad or Android Device, it is revolutionising the way we will email and formulate student timetables. Additionally, Google Apps have created tools that help facilitate collaborative learning in 21st century classrooms by giving access to numerous products via one login – a gmail account (this will soon be via a DEC email address as the DEC is rolling over to the Google Portal shortly).
There are 3 essential Apps that all teachers should familiarise themselves with:
Google + (Google Plus) is the hub of Google Apps. It is where individuals can access their chosen communities (teachers can create a class community for their students to access outside of class time), as well as communicate with their friends, play games and access other Apps.
Teachers can use Google Docs in the classroom to facilitate online collaboration. Although many educators have trialled (or used) Google Docs in the past, there have been significant upgrades to Google Docs permitting students who don’t have Microsoft Office installed on their PCs or Devices to access and use such programs. Additionally, everything is saved online permitting students to access their files from any computer.
Google Hangouts is an alternative to using Skype and the Collaborative Classroom. Google Hangouts permits students to communicate and collaborate in real time online with up to 10 students in other classrooms/schools, as well as with experts in your subject area in a safe learning environment. Google Hangouts is a fantastic tool which is engaging and can be customised to suit any student ability (from primary to higher ed).
Furthermore, all Google Apps are supported by the NSW DEC. For more information about Google Apps and the rollout, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/appsforeducationdec/ or contact the NSW DEC to speak to your Google Champion.