Google Apps

EdTechTeacher

What is GAFE?

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a core suite of productivity applications that Google offers to schools and educational institutions for FREE. These communication and collaboration apps include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Sites, and a GAFE account unlocks access to dozens of other collaborative tools supported by Google. All of these applications exists completely online (or in the cloud), meaning that all creations can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Once a school decides to embrace Google Apps for Education, they can register their school domain (web address), and administer all teacher and student accounts from an administrative dashboard.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 9.02.37 AM

Explaining Google Apps

Google Apps is a core suite of communication and collaboration applications that allow students to work from any device on documents and projects.

  • Once a school registered email address is registered with Google Apps for Education, teachers and students can unlock Google’s apps with one login.
  • An “office suite” of tools – Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more – that offers the ability to work from any device as well as share and collaborate.
  • Because all Google Apps save to the cloud, teachers and students gain the flexibility to work from any computer or device.
  • Students and teachers can seamlessly save work and collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously.

About Google Drive

Much like a computer has a hard drive full of folders and files, Google Drive is a cloud-based storage system that can be accessed from anywhere, and anything, with Internet access. Think of Google Drive as the home base of Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, Presentations, Drawings, and other files.

  • Google Drive lets you store and access these files anywhere – on the web, on your computer hard drive, or on an iPad or Android tablet.
  • Any file in Drive can be saved and shared either to another Google account user or to the world.
  • Offline features allow you to work on documents even when Internet access is not available and work automatically syncs when the devices goes back online.

 

In addition to being able to store files in Drive, teachers and students can create using the Google Docs Suite – similar to Microsoft Office or Apple’s iWork. These docs automatically save and allow you to create, access, and collaborate in a version-free world. Unlike Office or iWork, Google Drive can create Forms and Drawings.

Why Google Docs?

Google Apps is a tremendous platform for facilitating online collaboration in your classroom, or beyond. It is freely available on the Web and if you are familiar with other word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation programs, you can easily use Google Docs. The chat feature on presentations makes it possible to create a “permeable classroom” by bringing experts into a lesson to interact with students online.

Here are some benefits of Google Docs:

  • It is available from anywhere and anytime with an Internet connection.
  • Instead of emailing files back and forth, Google Docs allows people to work on a single version of a document online.
  • There is no need to download software or worry about conflicting software versions.
  • You and your students can collaborate with Google Docs in real-time, or asynchronously.
  • Its tools and basic services are free.
  • You can see student work in progress as its happening and provide real-time feedback.
  • You can see who edited a document, what they edited, and when they edited it.
  • Every Google Docs you view is the latest version of that document.

Note: Google Docs in part of Google Apps, a suite of tools that also includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Sites (for web page creation). The Google Apps suite is available to schools and businesses.

Google Docs Tools

Google Docs is comprised of five tools that all work together. You can access all of these tools from docs.google.com if you have a standard Google account. However, if your school has Google Apps in place, the URL may be different.

Documents is an online word processor and multimedia editor. Here is what you can do with Google Documents:

  • Create, format, edit, and publish documents online
  • Make your document private, public, or just to those who have the link
  • Invite others by email to edit or view your documents
  • Do real-time (or asynchronous) group-editing from anywhere
  • Upload and convert Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML, text (.txt), Open Office (.odt), and StarOffice Writer (.sxw) files
  • View your documents’ edit (“revision”) history and revert back to any previous version.
  • Insert images, links, drawings equations, comments, and more
  • Use the chat tool to communicate with others in real time.
  • translate the document into another language
  • Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or as a zip file.
  • Email your documents to others as attachments.

Presentation is an online slideshow tool. Here is what you can do with Google Presentation:

  • Create, fomat, edit, and publish a presentation online.
  • Make your presentation private, public, or just to those who have the link
  • Invite others by email to edit or view your presentation.
  • Make your document private, public, or just to those who have the link
  • Upload and convert existing PowerPoint presentations in .ppt and .pps file types.
  • Do real-time (or asynchronous) group-editing from anywhere.
  • Insert images, links, drawings, tables, a Google Drawing, and more.
  • Insert Google Video and You Tube videos into your presentation.
  • Publish your presentations as a website, or embed them into an exisiting web page.

Spreadsheet is an online spreadsheet tool. Here is what you can do with Google Spreadsheet:

  • Create, fomat, edit, and publish a spreadsheet online.
  • Make your spreadsheet private, public, or just to those who have the link
  • Invite others by email to edit or view your spreadsheet.
  • Import and convert .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data.
  • Use formatting and formula editing.
  • Export .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data and PDF and HTML files.
  • Use the chat tool to communicate with others in real time.
  • Publish your spreadsheet, or individual sheets, as a webpage or embed into an exisitng web page

Form in an online poll and survey creation tool. Here is what you can do with Google Form:

  • Create, fomat, edit, and publish a poll or survey online.
  • Make your poll or survey private, public, or just to those who have the link.
  • Insert varied questions types: text, paragraph, multiple-choice, checkboxes, choose from a list, grid, scale.
  • Invite others by email to take your poll or survey.
  • See responses instantaneously in real-time.
  • See responses in graph format or in spreadsheet.
  • Publish your poll or survey as a webpage or embed into an existing web page, or even a Gmail message.

Drawings is an online drawing tool. Here is what you can do with Google Drawings:

  • Create, format, edit, and publish drawings online
  • Make your document private, public, or just to those who have the link
  • Invite others by email to edit or view your drawings
  • Do real-time (or asynchronous) group-editing from anywhere
  • Insert images, shapes, WordArt, and more
  • Use the chat tool to communicate with others in real time.
  • align drawings to a grid or guide
  • Download drawings as PNG, JPG, SVG, and PDF file types.
  • Insert drawings into other Google Docs
  • Email your documents to others as attachments.

The video below from YouTube will give you a full tour of the capabilities of the Google Docs tools.

Examples of Google Docs in the Classroom

Here are several examples of Google Docs in the Social Studies classroom:

  • The Great Immigration Debate is a lesson designed to help students study a topic related to patterns in immigration history, while gathering and analyzing data using primary source materials.
  • Writing for Context is a lesson students will write a newsletter about their classroom for the purpose of sharing the knowledge they have gleaned from their studies.
  • Ancient Egypt is a group Google Presentation by students in a Georgia classroom.
  • Islamic Architecture is a Google Document resource created by students.

Learn Google Classroom

Google Classroom was released in the Fall of 2014, to enhance the workflow of teachers using Google Apps for Education in the Classroom. As new features are released, we have put together tutorials for learning how to navigate Google Classroom from a variety of devices.

About Google Plus

Google+, Google’s social media platform, allows you to set up groups to share documents, have online discussions, and collaborate in a social media environment.

  • Teachers can share privately with groups of students or colleagues as well as join broader public communities.
  • Set up a Communities to guide class discussions and create a blended learning environment.

About Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts, available within Google+, brings the power of video conferencing to students and teachers.

  • Hangouts facilitate face to face conversations with screen sharing and collaboration capabilities in real time
  • Use Hangouts to connect with team members across devices and geographical areas.
  • With Hangouts On Air, video conversations can be recorded and saved to YouTube.
  • Hangouts can be publicly broadcast or private conversations.
  • Note: Students must be over 13 years of age.

About Google Sites

Google Sites integrates seamlessly with Google Drive. Using a Google Apps for Education account, teachers and students can create and share webpages.

  • Creating a site does not require any knowledge of HTML or web coding. It uses a similar interface as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Collaboratively develop a site with a colleague or team member.
  • Insert pictures, videos, Docs, Sheets, or Slides directly from Drive as well as other types of content from the web.
  • Access and edit sites from any device.
  • Websites can be set to private or public, and teachers can control access for students.
  • Start by using a one of the custom templates or creating your own

About Chrome Apps and Extensions

Chrome Apps run in Chrome (Google’s web browser) and on Chromebooks, giving teachers and students powerful tools for creating and learning. These apps are added to a Google Account through the Chrome Web App Store. For example, if you want to create a mind map with students, there are several Chrome Apps that would allow you to do just that. Once they are installed, then you can work directly within the app. Many Chrome apps also save directly to Drive.

Chrome Extensions are tools that live inside of your Chrome Browser and provide additional functionality by connecting to other web tools. They appear as icons inside the address bar, or to the right of the address bar, and allow you to quickly access tools, save content, and customize your web browsing experience with one click – much like clicking on a bookmark.

Extensions

With a Google Apps for Education Account, and the Chrome Browser or a Chromebook, teachers and students can unlock a host of tools and apps to support teaching and learning.

To explore more Chrome Apps and extensions, explore our Chrome App recommendations.

Why Google Play Books?

  • • Access books from any device either through the Chrome Browser, Chrome app, iOS app, or Android app.
  • • Highlight and take notes while you read ePub files.
  • • Upload and read PDF files (no annotation features available)
  • • Use text-to-speech to support reading & decoding with ePub files.

Be sure to note that there are some differences between using the Chrome app and accessing Google Play Books fromplay.google.com/books in the Chrome browser on a computer or Chromebook.

Learn more about Chrome Apps and Extensions.

 Looking for a Google for Education Trainer? EdTechTeacher does onsite workshops at schools across the country. Learn more edtechteacher.org/gafe