I have always loved google docs (okay, now called Google Drive). In high school, it saved me from unreliable computers and storage devices. In college, my university began using Gmail for their email provider during my senior year. It was amazing! Some of my education classes began discussing using Google docs for collaboration, and my peers and I used it frequently for group projects.
In fact, the school district I student taught and long-term subbed for began implementing google accounts for all students, 6th-12th grade last year. It was nice because accounts were assigned (students did not make their own), and the school could oversee the accounts to minimize abuse. However, abuse did happen. Some middle schoolers decided to use shared power points as an avenue for bullying each other. Luckily, their teacher was well-versed in how the google suite works and was able to see what happened via draft versions.
In looking through others’ ideas and how I have used it so far, the following is a list of uses for the google suite for an English context, although many could be used in other content areas:
- Google drive for class idea sharing on a single document (small groups add to the class list or individuals post ideas)
- Sharing Google power points with classes (whether it’s other students projects or a reference guide distributed by the teacher)
- Google drive for looking at versions of drafts while teaching the writing process
- Google sites for class websites
- Google calendar sharing; teacher can use it to update class calendars as changes occur. Also can embed in class google site for easy reference!
- Google scholar for research papers
- Google books for an excellent way to read a book to the class using a projector (think children’s books for mini-lesson skills. This is especially great for ESL so they can all see the words and pictures.
- Google news for teaching students news bias, multiple perspectives on the same event, and evaluating sources.
- Google login for Blogger– another option for student blogs/class blogs. Have to be careful about student blogs though because you can’t control their content yet are responsible for what they post. I like collaborative blogs or having students email me and I post material.
- Google login for YouTube is wonderful if it is through a school Gmail account. These are also great opportunities to teach students about online presence, being careful about privacy settings and what they post/share with others, and how to become fluent with technology (showing them how to troubleshoot as it happens rather than fixing it without showing them).
- Google mobile so students can access their things on all their devices and don’t have to worry about leaving flash drives , etc. at school.
How do you use the Google suite in your classroom?