10 Reasons why Google Apps are Changing the Classroom
1) Truly Collaborative Learning
Through applications like Docs (Google’s Word), Sheets (Google’s Excel) and Slides (Google’s Powerpoint), children can work on documents, data projects and presentations in a live collaborative environment. Essentially a teacher can share a piece of work (in the aforementioned formats) on Drive (the google cloud based storage solution) that multiple children can access all at once.
2) Live Teacher Collaborations
Following on from the above, Teachers can also check in on the work as groups of children or individuals are expanding upon work. They can add their own notes to the sides of the work or directly interject by adding or highlighting areas of the written text.
3) Ongoing Assessments
Not only can teacher assess a document as it is being worked on, they can also gain access to work when it is completed. The work is all stored and saved within ‘Drive’ and so it is easy to find and mark. Opening up a completed piece of work will still offer up all of the same editing and note-adding options that I have previously mentioned.
4) Automatic Saving
The success of ongoing assessments and the power to check up on the ‘Revision History’ all stems from the fact that Google Apps automatically save all progress to it’s cloud based storage. This simple fact makes a world of difference. There is no excuses.
5) Unlimited Free Storage
My last point may have sparked a question in your head… How much memory does all this take up and will I fill it up? Amazingly, school’s that sign up for Google Apps for Education get unlimited free storage through Drive.
6) Everything in One Place
Never in the history of ever has a piece of software managed to bring so many useful elements together in one place for free. Using a Google for Education account means that your Google apps are all intrinsically linked in an immensely useful way.
7) Google Classroom
Believe it or not, every app that I have mentioned so far is not really specifically made for Education. Up until now, I have explained befits of Google Apps that are just as relevant in the Business arena. Google Classroom (as you might suspect from it’s title) is purely made with education in mind.
8) New Learning Opportunities
Following on from my last pointer, Google Classroom and other aspects of the apps can offer new ways of learning. The apps themselves can bring logistical and organisational changes to a modern day classroom but it can also bring innovative teaching approaches.
9) A Truly Paperless Classroom
Let’s face it, the term ‘paperless classroom’ is more of an ideal than a reality for many schools. I completely recognise that pen-to-paper writing skills are still hugely important and many creative endeavors can not survive without practical resources. Therefore, I hope that paper will have a place in the classroom for years to come. However, no one can deny the world’s huge shift from analogue to digital.
10) Future Proof Teaching and Learning
Apps being connected through the internet directly to their developers means that all of the tools will be periodically updated. This re-fresh and constant adaption means that the apps stay up to date. From time to time updates will suddenly contain new features or aspects that will make the tools even easier to use.
Information for this post is based on a post by Nick Acton from LearningSpeed.com. For more details, check out his complete post.