How could Google Apps help you to be more efficient as an educator?

I have used GAFE since 2010.  I realized the potential for collaborations outside our classroom walls. I realized that students will not lose or corrupt their documents.  I realized that I could create a website for our school.  And the best part; it was all FREE.  It was a no-brainer!  But, it did take the junior high staff time, about 3 years, to feel comfortable about using GAFE.  The lower grades and administrators are still not comfortable with Google Drive, but email, calendar, sites, and forms are used often.  One great example of efficiency with GAFE is having our check-out “sheet” for the Chromebooks on the calendar for teachers.  They can check out weeks in advance and indicate how many their students will use.   The teachers also use their webpages on Google Sites to communicate with parents and students.  They are supposed to update their pages often, and many of them do.

How could Google Apps enhance collaboration between you, parents, and students?

GAFE has been a great asset for students, parents and teachers.  Using Google Sites for our website helps keep parents informed of assignments, news, and anything in particular they need to know in their child’s classroom.  They can look at each teacher’s website to view homework, announcements, and special dates.  Parents can also view their child’s progress in Google Drive in junior high.  Teachers write comments on students’ docs and presentations.  Parents can view the progress as they create their projects.  The school and classroom calendars keeps the community updated as well.  School announcements are immediately posted and sent through social networks so that everyone is informed.

Did you learn something about Google or yourself that you didn't know before?

This Thursday and Friday I attended the ICE Conference ( and I learned about a few apps that can be used with Google Drive:  Movenote, Powtoon, VideoNote and my favorite, Rubics Cube!  I’m so glad she recorded her presentation today! I plan to share these apps with my students and staff this year.  I am very excited to try the Rubics Cube collaboration with my 8th graders and a class with a colleague of mine in Pennsylvania.  We’re always looking for ways to collaborate 1:1 with our students.  I plan to show Powtoon to the 7th graders to enhance their digital citizenship project.  I’m looking forward to showing Movenote to our junior high staff so they can enhance their presentations and maybe flip their classes!


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Comment by Janelle Shumaker on March 2, 2014 at 8:53pm
I'm glad to hear that your school is starting to accept GAFE. I know it took people at my office a whole to get used to it also. However once people start using it they all seem to love it. Good luck with it at your school.


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