Thing 6 – Google Apps

Google Drive and Dropbox may have been the best thing to happen to me in my teaching career. I remember the days of working on a document at home that I planned on using at school the next day in the hopes that 1. the email would be at school on my big bulky classroom desktop computer 2. the document would not end up in a new format that I would have to rearrange and resize before rushing down to the printer/copier. So here’s why I love google drive…

1. In the Cloud…

Saving items to my google drive makes that same document, powerpoint, or whatever available across all platforms and devices. Besides the fact that I can now access the files saved on my laptop from my iPad or iPhone, I can carry a document and its info in my pocket without ever having to print it. Let me give you an example…

The other day I rushed to the grocery store on my way home from a long day of teaching and football practice to get items to make dinner AND to pick up materials I was going to use for a Biochemistry lab the next day (this way I didn’t have to hit up the Walmart at 11 at night with the REALLY interesting crowd). As I walked the aisles I knew i was missing two items I needed for the lab but couldn’t remember and of course didn’t bother to write them down earlier (my wife is laughing as she reads that part). As I was about to walk out dejected and resigned to the fact I would have to get to school before 6 to find the lab and then run to the 24hr store before school started, it dawned on me… I Have The Lab Saved On GoogleDrive! I popped open the App on my iPhone and sure enough there was my beautiful pdf with all the lab materials listed! GOOGLE TO THE RESCUE!

2. Collaboration…

If you create a document IN Google (not uploading a .doc you made in word), you can have multiple collaborators! Meaning that students can all be typing on the same document AT THE SAME TIME! They go wild the first time you do it (especially if you project the document on the board as they add to it) and the see their words ‘magically appear’ along with their names. So if students are working together in a group, they can be collaborating in the classroom, in different classrooms, and even at home! You can use the same concept of a Google Doc as a closing activity and have students write down questions they still have from the lesson, or things they had learned from the lesson.

3. ‘Links’ to knowledge…

Once you have created or uploaded a Google document, Google provides you with a weblink that you can give to students so they can view the document at any time. These are especially useful if you want to provide the kids with a. access to past documents or b. answer keys! This is why Google is soooo great for me. My kids always want to be able to check their work AS THEY GO. They don’t want to turn in something if they aren’t confident they are correct. And as long as you create a class culture that the key is to be used as a resource and not for copying, I have found that kids respect that and appreciate that you provide it for them.

4. Ease of use…

The really nice thing about Google Drive is that you can connect it to your desktop or laptop. What that means is that when you connect your drive to your computer, it creates a Synced folder that you can simply drag and drop items, or save documents to that folder. This beats the heck out going to  the google drive website, pressing upload, finding the document, etc..

So if you would please Collaborate with me by clicking the link below and tell me what you think of Google Drive so we can help each other! Hooray for Collaboration!

Click Here to Add to Our Live Google Doc

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