Today’s Tech class was hosted by guest Keith Rispin, an educator who specializes in technology. Our instructor was absent today so we used Google Meetings for Keith to provide the lecture and share his power point on Goole Apps For Education (GAFE). It was a great example as to how the classroom can function without an instructor directly present. This would have also worked if we had students who were absent who wanted to join into the meeting and view Keith’s presentation.
Some of the highlights and things I learned that I felt will be personally useful for me in GAFE are:
- Google owning YouTube enables ease in the integration of YouTube into your assignments or lessons
- You can post assignments online in Google Classroom where students can collaborate, receive and submit assignments. Parents can access these assignments and stay involved in what their children are learning
- Students can no longer use the excuse “I lost my assignment” if there is a copy on Google Classroom, which promotes students to be accountable for their work
- You can access a search bar while in Google Docs to research and implement citations without having to close your document
- Grades can be held in Google Classroom
- You can share meetings, deadlines, and assignments in Google Calendar for students and parents to view. This would enable students to work on assignments remotely from home if they required it due to mobility limitations, illness, remote location, etc.
Keith also noted some important limitations:
- The interface used for the calendar in Google Classroom is constantly being re-organized and is difficult to explore
- Students who are tech-free or don’t have access to a device must be provided with hard copies of the assignments posted on Google Classroom. This sometimes means they must stay at school longer to be able to access the tools to complete the assignments, which isn’t fair
- If you store all of your marks in Google Classroom, you will have to export all of them to a different ministry of Education interface because the two interfaces don’t work well together. Storing marks in Google Classroom may seem convenient because that is where students’ work is submitted, but not when you realize all that data has to be moved when it’s time to do report cards
It was interesting to find out that other than Google Apps For Education, Microsoft Word is Keith’s favourite tech tool.
For more information about how to use Google Apps For Education, check out these resources: