As I spend additional time in my iGoogle, I will share information on some of the other web 2.0 features. Creating and saving your documents online makes it easy to direct readers to your common documents as Google Apps assigns each document an URL which can be copied and pasted for use in any blog, website, email, or online course.

Similar to most other web 2.0 tools, documents are saved and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. I keep finding more and more ways to make my computers less important for saving and organizing my past work.

How do you envison schools integrating Google Apps? Anyone with a connected computer can create and save documents and spreadsheets from anywhere in the world and then access their work from school-based computers/terminals. No need for the proper version of the same software to interpret/open documents on a different computer.

Tags: 2.0, apps, google, web, wp

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I, personally, don't see schools integrating google apps on a large scale. Their applications don't always save time for teachers and they aren't designed to really improve social connections. Google also has to overcome the fact that their programs are basically stripped down versions of professional programs that require both the web and a relatively modern computer. Even if infrastructure exists for google apps to be practical you've got to have a way to connect with people still, like a blog.

Currently, teachers see students every day, so whatever they implement as a whole needs to support the classroom and the students without a lot of effort while taking into account that a lot of students wont have home access to the web, or even a computer. Overall I would say that google apps is just a way for teachers to have access to their own documents at home and in the classroom. However, I can imagine some teachers will want to give up their grade books for an online spread sheet. There's less to carry around and calculations can be automated.
This year, my colleague and I used google apps to prepare our curriculum and shared lesson plans, it enabled us to work from our own homes at times that suited us either synchronously or not.
We had planned to use gmail for your domain also, but at the time it still featured text ads - and while the word filter seems to work ok in English, in Hebrew it's a completely different story.
I do plan to use google apps this year, I can see many advantages to using docs, in both individual and group work, as in a wiki the different revisions are accessible and thus it is possible to see how the student has progressed, and let's not forget the advantage of being able to access student work from home without having to carry bags of notebooks.
We're giving each of our students a Google Apps account:

The potential for collaboration, between student and student and student and teacher as well as portability is boundless. Students are no longer tied to the computer that they worked on yesterday, or worrying if the schools storage is has been wiped out (again), or even if they worked at home.

It also eliminates operating system and formatting issues. It doesn't matter if a student is running Windows '98, MacOSX, or some flavor of Linux. As long as they can open a browser they're good to go. It's taking care of the problems we've had with our Windows machines at schools opening WordPad documents, as well as the issues that we are going to face as student turn in work in the new Office2007 format.

I think you hit it right on the head, "Anyone with a connected computer can create and save documents and spreadsheets from anywhere in the world and then access their work from school-based computers/terminals. No need for the proper version of the same software to interpret/open documents on a different computer." As far as envisioning it's already happening. If there are any other schools using it I'd love to hear about it.
Google Apps has tons of potential, especially for collaboration and mobility, but it raises some interesting questions. One I am most interested in is ownership. Who owns the document and who is responsible for it's content? Does Google have some policy in fine print that gives them ownership? What are the implications of having students work on the web instead safe behind a network?
Certainly google apps is a big improvement when compared to carrying around a notebook, if that is the stage at which a school is currently working. My question, however, is what sort of enhanced collaboration does the idea of passing back and forth a google doc offer my students when compared to a wiki? Is the ability to insert comments the only real addition? Is it worth the effort to get my students on board with yet another technology if the increased benefits aren't really that great? or am I mistaken? Are there a lot more benefits to collaboration with google docs versus a standard wiki.
A google doc doesn't have to be passed back and forth, it can be worked on simultaenously by more than one person -something that is often not possible in a standard wiki, google docs can be published to blogs, to html, saved as open office docs, rtf or pdf and published to the internet as web pages. Word files sent as attachments to gmail can be opened in google docs straight from your inbox.
We've already been using Google Docs/Spreadsheets with classes and found it very effective. You can edit simultaneously, which as Susan mentions, you can't always do on a wiki.

Students can begin their papers in Google Docs, invite their teacher to join, and the teacher can make comments straight onto their paper.

If students are collaborating on a project, no worrying about missing passwords for the network or someone leaving the document at home or on their own flash drive, the students can all login to the document online and use it.

Same with Google spreadsheets, and I hear Google is going to release a version for powerpoint as well? Not sure the status on that.

We've also used it from afar to work on homework with our own children.

I agree with concerns about document ownership, but in Google's current climate, that doesn't seem to be an issue, and if it becomes one, then we can address that when it happens, can't we?

Google has a lot of helpful applications for schools--
Google Alerts emails you search results weekly or daily.
Google Calendar can be shared or placed on another website even.

I also think having these available online is actually a benefit, not a detriment, in terms of slower computers. It helps students who can't afford Office or WordPerfect at home, because it gives them a free word processing tool to use.
I totally agree with you. I am trying to find a good way for Google to be implemented in my classroom. I have a wiki set up for class work (that I can better control) that will do just about everything doc/spreadsheets will do. If a group of students need to collaborate, they set up a new wiki page and they all can access it.

Also, a google account for every student, while giving some great tools, will allow them to create their own blogs and post pictures on picasa web. Granted, they can do this already but if I can't effectively monitor their activities, especially if the school sanctions an account for each student, people get nervous. I have a GAYFD account for our school that could give students doc/spreadsheets and calendaring. But until Notebook, Picasa, Reader, and Blogger come into that realm, I probably will stick to wikis.

I was talking to my wife about this (she's a teacher too) and she suggested that if I were to sanction and set up Google accounts for students, the students and parents would have to sign a contractual AUP with the clause that both the parent and the teacher (me) would always have the student's password. At the end of the year, the account could either be deleted (at the parent's request) or continued (with parent permission).

Does anyone have an AUP that might fit this need?
I'm going to be using Google docs with my 6th graders in Feb. Has anyone come up with anything as far as the AUP?
I work in a very small charter school in "heartland America," 1:1 laptops, grades 5-8:

I use Google Docs with my students to collaborate ubiquitously--which is always helpful for groups when a member is at home or on vacation--they can still get work done with the group. Also, Docs allows for less downtime during collaborations--everyone can add their thoughts without having to wait on one person to do the typing. The kids LOVE Google Docs and tend to eschew Word and Pages now except for final copies.

We also use Google Sketchup and Earth to build ancient civilizations' temples, streetscapes, buildings, and homes and place them geographically on the earth. Talk about a new dimension to learning the same old topics!

We use Picassa to upload photos we take of field trips, of projects, or of each other during events. This allows anyone to have access to the school photos and was very helpful in sharing photos handily during the construction of the yearbook (done electronically with Lulu). Also then, kids could pick and choose what pics they wanted to take with them at the end of the year. This also helps save server space.

We started the year using Blogger, but that kind of fizzled out--mostly because of me. We also ran into blocks depending on how kids named their blogs (the word blog as in "Jennifer's Blog" got an automatic block from the district) I plan to do social networking where it's easier to interact with each other's work, but am still in the market for a student-safer version of Ning. (Off topic: if I purchase a private network from Ning, can I get rid of all links to the general Ning site?)

I use Google Web Alerts to keep tabs on what's being said online about me, the school, or my students. Next year, students will be expected to use it to keep tabs on specific topics of research and current events.

Some of my more-savvy tech kids have used Google Web Accelerator to help download pieces faster.

We currently have iCal on our computers so we don't have to use Google Calendar.

Do schools integrate these types of free apps on a large scale? Nope. Should they? Well, it doesn't have to be Google; there are plenty out there, but I think they should begin to look around. These are the tools that kids are using anyway and this is a path to their futures. Why not embrace it and show the kids how to use it safely, wisely, and with purpose?
Hi Ginger, when do you get the time to do all this? Wow
On the subject of a Social App instead of Ning, how funny you should mention that, I'm trying out for size a social networking site hosted on KickApps, I'd be happy if other people would join me there, just to get a feel for the tool - not to build yet another Classroom20, edu20 etc etc network, there are definitely more than enough of those.
My idea is that we just play about with the different tools there, see how they work, see if it is a viable option.

Here are the features that you would approve of, I think. Each kick apps network is a standalone network, not connected to the others. The Friends feature actually has a purpose - you can add RSS feeds of your friends blogs etc to your profile page, and let them know when you have added something, with just one click.

The Admin can choose to moderate media prior to it being published and has control over membership,

You can create blogs in audio, video and or text right from inside the application and of course upload your own media and photos .

On the downside: The site has a very obtrusive ads banner at the top of each page (is obtrusive a word?)

there is a very short timeout period which means you may have to sign in more than once an hour (although that could also be a plus in a school environment)
The timeout being so short, means that it's nigh on impossible to upload videos of the size that is claimed to be supported. Small videos are OK.
So if you have the time, come and play.... :-)
Oh my gosh--I'll see you there in a few seconds! This is what I want...a ning without the risk of kids getting a screenful boobies! You dropped in right before I got out the card to pay for a Ning private network (sorry ning--you know I still love you!!!)

As for the time I have to do all these things? I teach grades 5-8 all together in our charter school and there's one other lady who teaches math and (and private music lessons for kids); I teach all the rest, including lunch etiquette, physical fitness, and I'm the designer for how the school looks (with LOTS of CR2.0 assistance)! Next school year, I'm also going to be team-teaching the math too!

But the real secret? I don't "teach" the apps; I simply expect the kids to use them. The apps are used as the process or the product through which student work travels. I tell them about an app, vaguely explain in general what they should expect it to do, and walk around learning the intricacies from what they're doing. They share their discoveries with each other and we push one another to discover the most efficient ways to use the tools. While I'm invested in Google Apps, I switch it up on them, and will be asking them to add Zoho to their repertoire next year. It re-assigns who's the learner in the classroom. (oh, and my students come to conferences with me, presenting the tools, and wowing everyone. They do not rely on me to be their helper, because I'm quite honestly not as good at the tools as they are. And really, isn't that the purpose to education--to have the student surpass the teacher?)

OK--so see you on KickApps in a second (the kids are going to LOVE saying that name over and over, especially in front of their parents)! *groan*



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