Although I’ve been an Android user for the past few years, and I am always advocating all things Google, it wasn’t until recently that I integrated Google tools fully into my classroom repertoire. This year, I had my students create Gmail accounts on the first day of class, and I have posted our course calendar on Google calendar. I have been posting daily discussion topics, homework, test and quiz dates, holidays and more. I am also in the process of going paperless by putting all of my handouts in the Google Docs “cloud”. NO MORE COPIES!!! Check out this link to see how I use Google Docs to store handouts for my GEE Prep class. OK, maybe a few things need to be run off, but, for the most part, I am putting things online for my students to view and avoiding a lot of time at the copy machine. I have also been using Google Docs as a collaboration tool for my students to work on projects online. It alows them to co-edit one dynamic document that they can all take credit for. Here is a video that explains the process.
I have really enjoyed watching my students use this tool. As a matter of fact, I had to leave class for a meeting one day, and I was able to watch my students work remotely from my computer. I could literally see what they were typing as they typed it. I was even able to give them feedback using the chat tool integrated with Google Docs. In addition, I am using Google Docs as a repository for class notes taken on my interactive whiteboard. At this point, a student has the job of exporting the notes to pdf at the end of class and uploading them to our Docs folder. Here is an example of that:
All in all, as always, I love Google. I am always finding a new (FREE) tool to use in my classroom. My next step is to become a Google certified educator. When I start working on that, you know I will share what I learn right here! Happy Googling!