Most of you know that I’m a Google advocate. Most people know me as as a math teacher. What a lot of people don’t know is that I actually have a computer science degree and taught ICT (Information Communication Technology) for five years in the UK.
So what does this matter? Well… we taught office skills, write a letter, make a spreadsheet, use a database, (yes all important skills potentially for the workplace), and this was dull, it was dull as dull can be. We used Office, now don’t get me wrong, Office is great in the office, but it’s expensive (I know you can get it for free for edu), cumbersome, and not designed for Education.
A couple of years ago my district decided to go Google, I didn’t really know what this meant, but the computer science geek inside me wanted to find out more. As I found out more I realised how perfect GSuite is for education. Here are a few reasons why:
- Everything saves all the time, and with revision history you can always go back – this is great because it means students don’t lose their work anywhere near as often.
- You can access content anywhere, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
- One account allows you to access all your services, but also allows you to log into some of my favourites like Remind, GoFormative, EquatIO, EdPuzzle, Scratch and more.
- Classroom – I can’t say enough about classroom, it manages your entire document workflow with assignments.
- AppsScript – if what you want GSuite to do, it doesn’t do, you can find, or write an add on to do it. From finding edit URLs for form submissions, to document merges and automated emails.
- Forms – in built quizzes and assessment features
- Explore – allows students to carry out research from right within the core apps and cite their images properly.
- Collaboration – everything is sharable, students can complete group work from home without needing to meet up.
- Suggested edits and comments make peer editing and grading simple.
And it’s not just these things that make me love Google for Education. The training center, dedicated to teaching teachers how to use the tools to empower student learning, their certified Trainer program which shows that you have a solid understanding of the tools and the Innovator program, which showcases innovative educators. The surprising thing is that all of this costs $0.
As #ISTE17 continues this week, one thing is also guaranteed, and that is there will be exciting new developments all focused on educators. These new features, products and programs will allow students to achieve more, teachers to adapt to the current education shift better and for parents to be reassured that their child is learning the vital digital literacy skills required for today’s workplace.
Google for Education makes learning exciting, simple and empowers both students and teachers.