It’s become the go-to response in the quest for information — Google it. Whether users are seeking the answer to How many ounces are in a pound?, What are the phases of the moon?, or What was the name of that 80s sitcom with the girl who was a robot?, Google offers a quick and easy platform for supplying the information needed. This leading search engine for all things informational has seamlessly made the transition to a leading platform for all things educational. The thorough suite of resources offered by Google for Education and available to educators and students epitomizes the concepts behind 21st Century Learning.
For Part One of our series on Google Suites, we’re taking a look at the 3 big takeaways of using this platform in education. The benefits for teachers, students, administrators, and all other stakeholders in the education process really come into focus. These big ideas brought to life by Google make embracing this suite of resources a no-brainer for all involved.
- Free – Teachers are notorious bargain hunters, but they are also notorious for doing and spending what is needed to create the best learning environment for their students. Google for Education is a completely free program. Yes, it is completely free. Not free with pop-ups and ads and other distractors that hinder usage, but free with ease of use in an environment that allows learning to occur. Also included in that free price tag is 24/7 support for all of the applications. At school, home, or on-the-go, there is a support team ready to assist, navigate, and/or troubleshoot any app-related technical issues. Unlimited data storage is also a part of the program. By the way, did we mention that all of this is totally free?
- Collaborative – A huge part of learning is collaborating. Whether that collaboration is occurring between student-student, student-teacher, teacher-teacher, or any other warranted combination, managing collaborative time can be a slippery slope. With Google for Education’s collaborative capabilities, the management piece is no longer an issue. Multiple users can share, edit, and create files in real-time. This puts everyone on the same page at the same time and doesn’t create huge gaps in the learning, planning, and/or communication process. With built-in automatic saving, everyone’s work is always saved and stored.
- Anytime/Anywhere – Users don’t have to be sitting in particular room, logged into a particular computer, and opening a particular file that is only housed in one particular place. Google for Education is accessible from any device with internet connectivity. Any computer, tablet, or phone can launch the platform. Students can collaborate and create from the bus, the backyard, or the ball field. Teachers can assign, manage, and communicate when they are in the classroom, at home, or on-the-go. With just a few clicks, education and learning don’t have to wait until later, they can happen here and now.
The clarity that comes from looking at the big picture is just the beginning of the wonders and applications of using this platform. As a free, collaborative, and mobile collection, Google Suites is like no other resource for education. These 3 takeaways are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google for Education. In Parts 2 and 3 of the Google Suites at a Glance Series, we will dive into the power and possibilities that come with the various apps included with Google Apps for Education (GAFE).