The beginning of each school year can be so exciting…new students, new challenges, new opportunities to teach in old and new ways. Many teachers may have been introduced to using new technology for their classrooms. So this blog is for anyone starting the adventures with Google opportunities in their classrooms.
*(BUT, IF YOU ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH GOOGLE DOCS…YOU MAY WANT TO LEARN ABOUT SOME AWESOME RESEARCH TOOLS USING GOOGLE DOCS…IF SO, GO DIRECTLY BELOW TO GOOGLE RESEARCH TOOLS)*
Google has been one of my best friends for quite a while. Google can used as a search engine. I am partial. It is my favorite. But, Google is more than a place to find the information that you need to assist with daily teaching. For me, Google is Google Drive.
Google Drive allows users to save documents, photos, presentations, spreadsheets, folders “in the cloud,” so that they are accessible anywhere, such as on the computer you are using right now, the computer you use at work or home, at your friend’s house, or on your phone. No need to use a flash drive to take documents anywhere with Google Drive. You will never lose files or documents if your computer crashes or your flash drive ceases to work. Also, you can collaborate/converse/work on a document or presentation with a colleague at the same time even your he/she is in a different location as you. Watch this quick explanation about using it.
Go Google: Google Drive explains how it works in a different way.
Now that there is some familiarity with Google Drive, using its most commonly used features would be the next step. I mostly use Google Docs to organize and share information with colleagues because I can access my docs anywhere. Docs can be shared with students. I like the way Sharing on Google Docs by Google visually demonstrates how sharing docs works.
The following video is a very simple way to receive guided, step-by-step instructions in using Google Docs, Presentations, or whatever you would choose. The Beginner’s Guide to Google Drive for Windows Tutorial 2014 was written for teacher and students. The end of the video explains how to install Google Drive on your computer, which might be your home computer. If your district is networked, you might not be able to do this. However, this is a way to synchronize all of your Word documents with Google Drive. It seems like a simple way to back-up files. If you have done this, please comment on how well it works.
NOW, FOR ANYONE READY TO CONTINUE OR WANTING TO LEARN ABOUT RESEARCH TOOLS WITH GOOGLE DOCS…Very useful for students!
So you want to assign a report or essay for students. On a Google Doc, the student types the topic, clicks on Tools in the Toolbar, Research and
a list of sites with information appear in a side window next to the document. Each can be previewed and cited if used. Style of citation can be chosen. Quotes can be inserted and cited. Images can be inserted and dragged into the document with links. Usage rights of images can be adjusted. This makes researching topics incredibly easy. I love the fact that there is no need to switch between screens to add the extras. Google has definitely eliminated surplus time. The following video Wojo Google Screencast by Laura Wojceichowicz show a simply explained way to use this feature of Google Docs.
For a slower more explicit explanation, watch Research Tools in Google Docs.
If you would like to share a feature of Google Drive or Docs to ease the life of teachers and students, please share in the comments below.