Going Google Apps… finally!

Its been awhile since I last wrote a blog post as so much has been changing I guess and time gets away from oneself.  I have been working on my own business Kristina Hollis Ed Tech Consulting, and enjoying a great variety of jobs and experiences.  I have also started working back within the NSW DEC at a Hunter Valley school.  Whilst I am still settling into a new school and working out the ‘lay of the land’ so to speak, I have been excited to find that the NSW DEC has finally released Google Apps and provided access for all staff and students to this essential suite of tools.  I have been a Moodle advocate and trainer for 5-6 years now and still firmly believe it to be the best LMS out there, however, Google Apps is definitely a suite of tools, when used the right way, that could rival any LMS.

Benefits of Google Apps

My own personal and professional beliefs about the benefits of Google Apps are:

  • SSO (single sign on) for students to a large number of apps in one browser is simplifying navigation and creating a user-friendly learning experience.
  • Collaboration is easier than ever and revision history plus comments make it possible for teachers and other group members to track work and changes more successfully.
  • Cloud storage is the best way for students to store and manage their work, no longer needing to rely on a USB they will probably lose or potentially corrupt.
  • Extensions bring even more potential to the already ‘brimming-with-possibilities’ suite of apps, assisting individual schools and educators to customise their experiences.
  • Google Classroom is a fantastic way to get students to submit work as it will go into automatically created Google Drive folders, making it easy for teachers to find the work later, download in a ZIP folder and mark.
  • The integration of apps for the purpose of productivity and organisation will assist students to become owners of their learning experiences and more accountable for them in the long-run.
  • Making your own website has never been easier than it is in Google Sites.

There are many other benefits but these are my top ones and I’m looking forward to helping colleagues learn these for themselves and discover the potential Google Apps give them in their own teaching and learning.

Check out the Google for Education website for more information.

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