Another World of Tools on Google

Posted: October 18, 2014 in EC&I 831 Social Media & Open Education, Ed Tech
Tags: , ,

Last week Michael Wacker from EdTechTeam opened yet another world of tech tools for me by taking our class on a tour through Google Apps. Though I have some experience with Google Docs the speed with which he toured us around the new features was truly mind boogling! It was a little crazy with 40 of us all trying to edit the same doc at the same time but I did appreciate that we got to experience some new tools and ways of using them that I hadn’t done before.

My first experiences with sharing docs online (with Google and Dropbox) were clumsy and inefficient. However, this year my job share partner and I are collaborating using Google Docs and I love it! All of our daily lesson plans, long range plans and even our job share set up are shared on Google drive. I love that it saves automatically, we can embed links in the text, work on the document simultaneously and comment in real time or leave a message.

After Michael’s presentation I am amazed at all of the possibilities for implementing Google Apps into the classroom. While my head was spinning my classmates were busy finding resources. Check out Barbara Dewitt’s blog post for some awesome Google resources including some great tutorials. I especially loved the Google forms section on 32 Ways to Use Google Apps in the Classroom.

I have to pause to take a breath here…my inbox is so inundated with posts from my classmates about all of the wonderful tech ideas, apps and gadgets I need to try that I am overwhelmed!

If you’re feeling the same way I encourage you to read Kelly Christopherson’s post Drinking from the Fire Hydrant. He encourages us to slow down and reflect on what you and your students need and focus on that first. Drinking one glass at a time if you will.

Jenn Stewart summed it up nicely in her post, Connecting Lives with Digital Tools where she suggests teachers “focus on how the tools fit the learning at hand….Looking first at the students’ needs, then the outcomes, then looking at the tools that will help learning.” I also appreciated her thoughtful examination of collaborating online. She asks, “Are all faces being represented in the digital world?” Teachers have an amazing opportunity to ensure all students, not just the privileged, have access. Google Apps can be a great tool to give all students a voice.

Now, I just need to figure out how to do Google sharing with grade 2s…Suggestions?! 

  1. So what kinds of things have you tried with your grade 2s in the classroom in terms of technology? I know that some teachers have used Google Apps to create e-portfolios that are private but can be shared with parents.
    Make sure that you are using non-copyright images in your blog posts – you can find Creative Commons images using a tool like Compfight, which will help you to give proper attribution as well.

  2. mybrainstorm says:

    Hi Katia, This is my first time as an elementary classroom teacher. (Last year I was in and out of 8 different classes and was excited to have skyped with my gr 3 social class.) This year our students are using literacy and numeracy apps on 5 iPads that we have in our classroom. They also use them for listening to reading. We are tweeting with them as well in a large group setting. My original plan was to start class and student blogs with them this fall but as a group we aren’t ready for that yet…hopefully after Christmas.

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