Google apps is a really neat tool that I think can help me as an educator. I can use it to have students collaborate on assignments. It is an efficient way for multiple people to work on one assignment. It eliminates checking email and attaching documents. Since it is a live application, it is automatically saved and updated so that anyone with access can view immediately. I think that the work processing and the presentation features would be the most beneficial for students to use for assignments.
I also really liked the Google forms because it is an easy way to conduct surveys or to administer short quizzes. You receive the results automatically and that could eliminate some grading or be an easy way assess student learning as a formative assessment.
Another great use for Google Apps is that is provides for easy communication with parents and students. Creating a website on Google Sites is easy and you can imbed all of the other Google Apps directly into the site. This provides for a great way to send forms for parent information, polls, surveys, calendars, etc. I think that using a live application like Google Apps is a great way to increase collaborative learning and communication in the classroom. I also like that students can chat live while they are working on a Google Doc together. It makes it so that it is like they are actually sitting in a room together creating a document. I also like that when sharing, the creator has the options of who to share with so that people feel more comfortable posting certain assignments, comments, reflections, etc. It also makes the apps safe to use in a classroom because outsiders are not able to see it without permission.
I learned quite a bit about Google that I did not know before. I had never used any of the applications except for Google Docs until now. I now know how easy it is to use and access and am likely to find myself using Google much more. It is also neat because all of my information, forms, docs, etc. are automatically saved and easy to access and share.