Google Apps For Education

Week Two

I have been working in classrooms for 4.5 years as an Educational Assistant and had my own Chromebook provided by the district to use during that time. This allowed me to become familiar with the Google Suite platform and see how its used in the classroom setting. I have created a list of strengths and weaknesses based on my personal experiences. I will compare these to what others are saying about Google Suite and new information my group finds around privacy issues and the sharing of student information.

I chose to study this topic, even though I am familiar with it in practice, because I would like to look at it more critically as I become a teacher myself. It is often presented as the best online platform for students and heavily relied on for student work. I am interested in knowing more about its competitors and how they measure up.

Strengths
– Student’s work is accessible anywhere
– Don’t need to worry about bringing work home/ forgetting to bring back
– Students can share their work with their parents
– Work will not be lost; autosaves in their drive
– Chromebooks are classroom friendly as they are small and portable
– Students can access all work from their phones, home computers, tablets
– Work easily “shared” with their teacher and peers for easy, instant access
– Peer-assessment easily facilitated
– Accessibility features & tools:
– Read and write allows for further learning
– Text to speech for students with reading or visual challenges
– Speech to text for those who work quicker or prefer speaking rather than writing or typing
– Symbols are used to represent the different programs which allows for ELL students to participate
– Variety of programs: Docs, sheets, websites, mail, calendar, classroom, blog, Jamboard, all consolidated in one account and simple to use
– Easy to save docs as Microsoft word files if needed and open word files to edit in docs
– More freedom to be create rather than restricted by paper template handed out
– Environmentally friendly: less photocopying and paper use, students can’t lose things and need a new copy to start again
– Work turned in and returned with feedback, paper free and instantly
– Teachers and students have fewer binders and paper to drag home and back
– Online Etiquette: Introduces students to online safety, professionalism online, how to navigate various programs, allowing them to be tech literate when going into jobs
– Free for educational institutions and, therefore, students and staff
– Students, staff, and parents can easily communicate and share info
Weaknesses
– Need parental consent; without it, some students excluded from this experience and this disrupts the streamlined classroom experience
– Sharing documents with peers may allow them to change things on it: safety/trust concerns
– Work only saved when working online
– Limited to using chrome as google apps don’t talk well to other platforms
– Distraction: working online allows for freedom to access anything, clear boundaries must be set
– If students do not have access to tech at home this excludes them from the ability to access from home
– Loss of social interaction, social skill building through working closely with others

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