FREE WEB TOOLS – #EDUBLOGSCLUB PROMPT 5
The world of communicating with students has changed. While some might bemoan the technology takeover, I for one, am a hardcore believer in the benefits of real-time appropriate communication with students that is made possible because of technology.
For example, last night from my own home:
- I communicated with a student about a project and the deadlines that are looming for contest. It didn’t matter that it was after 10pm. The student sent me an email and I was able to respond and give the encouragement to finish the project.
- I proofed a student’s work and sent feedback to the student using the comments section on Google Slides. Changes that were made were seen immediately and I could clarify where needed.
- I read an article for my own classwork. I took notes and used a highlighter…all in a virtual format. No printing required!
- I posted to a discussion board about education.
All of these things were time sensitive and so much easier because of the technology tools available.
One of the best and most useful platforms that I have found to use with students is Google’s FREE Productivity Tools. The school district I work in is a Google for Education school and we use the G Suite for Education services. But I also use these services for my personal work, blog and other needs.
If you haven’t started using Google Productivity Tools, I highly suggest trying them out. These tools truly change the game. How? For one, every change, edit and fix is automatically saved when using Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Sites! These tools have replaced my need to use Microsoft Office tools and even better, because they are cloud based, it doesn’t matter where I want to work on files created within these programs, they are available if I have the internet.
The tools also work from a phone or tablet. Google Drive is where I store just about everything these days. I also use Google Photos to store my pictures. I can upload my photos from my phone and then delete them to free up my phone storage. I can then access the pictures from anywhere, send them to print, add them to blog posts, whatever I need. Even better, file size doesn’t matter as the storage is unlimited with the Google for Education service. I use this with my personal gmail account as well and I have 15GB free.
Lastly, if you are a teacher and expect students to collaborate on projects, using a Google product lets you really see what students did. Instead of getting a finished project that only 1 student worked on out of a group of 4, but you don’t really know what was done and when, so you have to give everyone the same grade.. now you can give a grade based on actual work provided by students! You can even have the file tell you the percentage of authorship of the file. It is really quite cool.
I could go on as there are so many more amazing Google tools, but for now, I’ll leave it at… just try them! They are free and they just might make your life easier.