Google Apps has created programs that allow teachers to integrate into their classrooms to help students experience technology. These apps can help me be more efficient as an educator by allowing my students to integrate technology into their learning and experience it for themselves. Gmail allows students to have the responsibility of checking their own mailbox (it is always fun receiving mail when you are young!) but has a component for teachers to have an administration control. There are no ads and a great spam filter so e-mails can be blocked that they should not receive. The Docs and Talk apps allow for more communication and collaboration between teachers and students. Assignments can be completed as a group online with groups of students having access to a document. The teacher can communicate with students outside of school using the Talk app to get answers to questions. The Calendar and Sites apps allows for communication between parents. Teachers can also create a calendar for students that show due dates on assignments for class. All of these apps allow students to practice their technology skills for integration when they get older. These apps also allow students to complete work at home by accessing these apps outside of the school building.
By using these apps in the classroom with students, they can help educate and train their parents or other siblings on these apps at home or during a school function. Parents can stay in contact with their students and teacher using Gmail. Parents can follow what is going on in their child’s classroom by checking the classroom website on the Sites app. The Calendar app will help families plan for events during the school year. These apps will allow for more communication between families and the teacher.
Looking into Google Apps, I found out more apps that are available for educators to use. I was only aware of Gmail and Google Docs as I have used them for personal use and for my classes that I am taking as a student. Google Talk, Google Sites, and Google Calendar were apps that I was not aware Google offered. I discovered that many of these features can be administered by the teacher and privacy settings can be managed by the teacher. Schools can create a domain name with their school name for students to use within their e-mail addresses. I also discovered that if you sign up for the educational apps, you have to pay a small monthly fee to get your school’s domain name. I was not aware of that feature. I don’t think teachers would be able to administer their students e-mail accounts without paying that fee but they can still allow students to set up individual accounts. Something to think about and it needs to be considered based upon the grade you teach. Individual apps can be used by the teacher to set up a website, talk, the calendar or use the documents.
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