Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thing #7 - Google Tools

I played around with several of the tools. Before we had VPN and Share folders, Google Calendar and Docs would have been very helpful. Much of what they allow you to do we now can do within our district. However, I can see a number of benefits in using these tools for sharing among my colleagues in various districts. We could put the Houston Co-op schedule on the Calendar and keep all the forms in the Docs application. It would make the information more "self-serve".

I have a lot of trouble uploading photos. I've had the same issue with aborted uploads in Animoto, Flickr, and now Picasa. They often work if I just do one or two photos at a time instead of a large group. I'm just very impatient and want to do it all at once!

I've put together an iGoogle page and marked it as my home page. It will be nice to have all the applications I use regularly on the same page instead of having to open multiple browser sites repeatedly. I've also signed up for several Alerts to notify me of updates in Gifted Education. It will be interesting to see what updates I get. This will be a great help to staying current.

Classroom applications -
  • Alerts - I would have used this to help me find current topics for discussion or debate based on the content I was teaching at the time. It would help you bring back big issues after you'd finished a unit. It could be a fun place to get journal ideas or current events.
  • Calendar - I would set up a classroom calendar so parents had easy access to know what was happening. It's flexible enough you can change it so parents get a good understanding of the ebb and flow in teaching. You could post what you plan (very generally) and then edit it to account for the teachable moments when you veered off your original plan in response to student interest.
  • Docs - This is a great way to get kids connected for group projects done at home.

1 comment:

ms. whatsit said...

I love Google Docs not only for the collaboration, but it's an easy way to create a simple web page.

When I shared this application with my students, those who came from split families really took to it. No more would they need to worry about flash drives and or emailing documents to themselves when they travel between two homes. As someone who's been married to the same person for over 20 years, observing the reaction of these students was a real "aha!" moment for me.

btw--My sister is a PhD research scientist at A&M.