Every student has a struggle from time to time. Sometimes it has to do with how they receive, store, and respond to information and materials in the classroom setting and beyond. When this is the case, Google can help!
Screen Shot Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/
Part of the allure of Google Apps in Education is that these provide an open portal through which all students can access individual materials and collaborate with others in groups as small as two or considerably larger. Setting a class up to work through Google Classroom can build a lot of consistency into learning, so that the lens through which students look is always pretty similar, and their focus can become more about what information the lens of Google Classroom is bringing them to look at, than about how to actually use the interface– which can sometimes be a problem when technology is new and different at each bend in the road.
Within Google Apps, students can collaborate on Google Docs, and Spreadsheets, and Create Slides, chat in Hangouts, and create simple websites for projects they are working on. Not only that, if the teacher is using all of these same apps for planning and implementing instruction, it is a seamless transfer to simply share these with the students for review and later use through the apps. This could really help students who work at their own pace with an opportunity to revisit material exactly as it was presented in class. They could independently deepen their understanding.
An instance that I’ve recently used Google Apps was to create an informational Google Site for a summer camp I help to coordinate. Embedded in this site is a registration form that I created through Google Forms. This registration form when completed generates an entry into a Google Spreadsheet. Within this Google Spreadsheet, I was able to embed an on board app that will take this information from a new entry, and populate the blanks left in a Google Doc to create an invoice. This app will then turn this Google Doc into a PDF and then e-mail it to the registrant as a PDF attachment! The registrant then can simply mail in the invoice with a check for the amount owed and we have a record of all the registrations, and PDFs sent out. It took me about 3 hours to build the site, create the form, and set up the app to e-mail the PDFs. It will probably save our group of organizers 10 times that in trying to track down payments, and transfer hand written registrations into excel files, etc. I was thrilled with the result and I wish I would have know about it sooner! How simple so many sign-ups could have been!
This helps students indirectly because we are able to transfer our energies away from clerical work and back to the educational real as we can spend that time in planning and preparation for instruction instead of moving mountains of paper!