Today, the phrase “there’s an app for that” has never been truer. And with Google Apps for Education, the face of education is becoming more streamlined than ever. Simply put, Google Apps is a “package of online applications that makes communicating and collaborating at school easier and more efficient” (Elon University at: https://wiki.elon.edu/display/TECH/Google+Apps+for+Education).
But what does Google Apps for Education have to offer?
Schools who use Google Apps enjoy the following:
• The cloud:
Everything that the students and teachers do is saved to the cloud. This means that files, websites, etc. can be accessed at school and at home. An added benefit is the ability to retrieve this information on tablets and cell phones as well.
• Google Docs:
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages is that students and teachers can work on the same document simultaneously with Google Docs. And because it’s in the cloud, the document can be viewed and worked on by anyone at any time. Now, when students work on a project in groups, they can continue to work at home through shared documents, and each group member can make revisions and edits to the Google doc at his or her leisure. Gone are the days of having to meet at someone’s house after school, because the convenience of Google Docs allows the users to collaborate no matter where they are. In addition, changes are continuously saved, and if someone ever wants to revisit an earlier version of the document, that information is saved and easy to recover.
This Google version of email is available through Google Apps for education, and one plus of having a Gmail account is that it integrates with the other apps through Google.
• Google Calendar:
The calendar allows students to see when their teachers are free, so that if they need to communicate through Google Docs, they know when to log on and work. “No more back-and-forth email attachments and versions that you can’t keep track of” (from Google.com at: http://www.google.com/intl/en-GB/enterprise/apps/education/benefits.html), and the calendar can assist in coordinating work schedules for collaborators on a project.
• NJ ASK/PARCC Preparation:
Now, Lumos Learning is part of Google Apps for Education! This FREE app through Google Play allows a student to take practice tests for Math and English/Language Arts Literacy (grades 3-8). With two modes, students can either simply test their skills or switch into “learning mode” for a detailed explanation of incorrect responses. See here for more information.
• Additional options:
The components listed above are just a small sampling of all that Google Apps for Education has to offer. Additional apps include (but are not limited to): Google Translate, Google Sites, Google Blog, and more.
As school districts begin to get on board with this new technology, your children will have easier access to classwork at home, without the need for hard copies of documents. In addition, there’s no more waiting to get to school the next day to check in with other students (or the teacher) regarding assignments. Google Apps for Education is clearly making the world of learning easier, more accessible, and more flexible than ever before.