02 September 2008

What Teachers are Saying about Google Apps

Today, Tom Barrett posted "11 Google Apps Improvements for the Classroom" on his blog ICT In My Classroom.

Even better, I received word today that many of the Google Apps have been unblocked by district filters, so we're finally ready to get started using the tools in several classrooms. I have been using Google Docs in my yearbook class for more than a year. I really got tired of hearing the excuses for leaving work at home. I also got tired of feeling bad about my school only having Microsoft Word, which can't read most of the software that comes installed in today's computers. Google Docs has helped my students to become more successful writers and better collaborators. I am SO excited to roll out Google Apps with my students.

Tom's post is suggesting improvements that will make Google Apps even more user friendly than they already are. My favorites:

  1. Add audio comment capability. Can you imagine? I would LOVE to be able to leave my students a comments that were a bit more personal than the comments on the page. If students hear " I really liked the way you___________ in your essay this time," maybe they won't get so discouraged when they have a long way to go!
  2. Add Notebook into Google Apps. Notebook is a great way to clip and organize online resources. The ability to add notations to your sources is awesome.
  3. Google Spreadsheet and Presentation already have chat capability, so, as Tom suggests, why not add the same feature to Docs? Makes perfect sense to me. I also love the idea of archiving the conversation much like you can do in gmail chat. It would be great for student teams to go back to their conversation from earlier in their collaboration process.
Go check out Tom's suggestions in full and add your own!