In the library, I have been exploring Google Apps for education, and the Google classroom. Although I have used Gmail, Google drive and the Google calendar personally for years, this year my school board expanded our use and access to Google Apps, using teacher and student accounts. Not all applications are available yet, but so far I have used Google Docs, Google Drive, Google slides, Google forms, Google calendar, and Gmail.
The Google classroom proved to be a solution for typical problems in media studies. It’s fun to use free programs like Windows movie maker with students, but the files get very large. Before Google classroom, work from multiple classes arrived in no order at the same teacher email address.
Google classroom allows for paperless delivery of large film clips, and full-colour documents, sorted into classes. It keeps track of outstanding assignments and streamlines sharing marks and feedback with students.
So far I have used Google docs and Google slides to help students collaborate in real time on the same school assignment, or the yearbook. We also had film festivals in the library for each media studies class. It was simple to show student movies straight from the Google classroom and display them with a digital projector.
Some useful features:
- Google Docs saves work continuously and automatically
- Google Docs reads files made in various formats such as PowerPoint, Word etc.
- you can embed videos into Google slides for presentations
- Google documents can be downloaded for access off-line
- multiple students can add images, edit texts, and make changes to the same document simultaneously, as long as it is ‘shared’ with them
- sharing is as simple as clicking a button and typing an email address
- Google classroom makes it easy to design assignments once, then post them to multiple classes.
- including links, and other media right in an assignment is simple and intuitive
Here are some links to get you started, depending on your area of interest:
Using Google Presentations with students:
How to ‘hack’ a google presentation to make it into an animation (advanced technique)
Online image sources. Be sure to remind your students about permissions and copyright:
- Google Images (advanced mode) – http://images.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en (you can set the usage rights to search for non-copyrighted material)
- Picsearch (advanced mode) – http://www.picsearch.com/index.cgi?st=advanced
- Open Clip Art Library – http://www.openclipart.org/
- Public Domain Clipart – http://www.pdclipart.org/
- WP Clipart – http://www.wpclipart.com/
- clker.com – http://www.clker.com/
- Hassle Free Clipart – http://www.hasslefreeclipart.com