Having the ability to create via multiple platforms is one of the amazing benefits of embracing Google Suites. The apps that facilitate these creative endeavors were explored in Part 2 of our Google Suites at a Glance Series. With Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites, students and teachers are able to design innumerable examples of products that both guide the learning process and showcase its outcomes. In Part 3 of our Google Series, we are looking at 4 additional apps within GAFE (Google Apps for Education) that allow this learning and creativity to be communicated and managed.
Drive — The heart and storage center of Google Suites is found in Google Drive. Think of this as the hub of all operations where everything can be accessed. From the Drive, students and teachers can navigate to any and all of the apps that are needed to perpetuate the learning process. Any work created can be quickly accessed and shared from the Drive. New documents, slides, presentations, etc. can also springboard from this location. When you’re ready to start communicating and creating, Google Drive is the motherboard that allows learning to prosper.
Classroom — By utilizing Google Classroom, teachers are able to set up their classes, assign work, grade work, and return work all from a single app. No pencil and paper needed, no my dog ate my homework excuses, no misplaced papers, and no time spent logging grades. Google Classroom streamlines the process and allows students and teachers more time to focus on the learning. Share videos, connect students to valuable information on the web, share Google files and creations, link important reminders, and manage your classroom. A great way to start or maintain a flipped classroom concept, and a worry-free host for easy accessibility to all student files.
Gmail — When GAFE is adopted for classroom usage, teachers, students, and administrators are all given Gmail accounts. The ease of knowing student email addresses rather than inputting their personalized and oftentimes elaborate address creations removes beginning of the year hassles and allows teachers to easily pull up and contact students via their Gmail accounts. The ability to monitor student accounts and restrict student access is also a positive addition to keeping kids safe and accountable in cyberspace. The integrated chat system alerts users when others are online and can allow for real-time chatting with other faculty members.
Calendar — No more excuses for missing meetings or deadlines with the integration of Google Calendar. The Calendar app can be a personal lifesaver for having meetings, turn in dates, and other important events all recorded in one place with reminder alerts. Teachers can also add items to student calendars to ensure assignment checkpoints and deadlines are met. When assignments are added to the calendar, they can also contain the links needed to complete them. By utilizing the full potential of the app, everyone within your Google community can literally be on the same page. Google Calendar is also a great way to schedule rooms and resources within a school or district by allowing all stakeholders to manage their usage timelines.
Being able to communicate and manage all things education through the Google Suite is a priceless advantage of GAFE. By utilizing Drive, Classroom, Gmail, and Calendar, teachers and students can easily streamline all of their learning endeavors. Being able to easily access and share information and materials is paramount to making the most of time with students inside and outside of the classroom. The 8 apps that are the core of Google Suites allow users to create, communicate, and manage, and our final installment in Google Suites at a Glance will share some additional apps that expand the repertoire of this game-changing collection for education.