Monday, March 24, 2014

An ode to Google

I have to get it out of my system and shout it from the rooftop....

Small update: If you visited earlier, that was just some boring text. I changed it because it just didn't express my love enough. And yes, I made that graphic with Google. :) Anyway....

I love Gmail. I love YouTube. I love Google Drive. I love Google Docs. I love Google Spreadsheets. I love Blogger. I love Chrome. I love Google Earth. (One time I spent 35 minutes using Google Earth to locate an old Pizza Hut in my hometown just to see if it was still a Pizza Hut because I wanted to possibly submit it to this blog. Ummm, don't ask.) I love Google Forms. I love Google Drawings. I love the fonts that Google provides because I am so bored with the basic fonts on my school computer. I love Google News. I especially love Google Doodles like this one and this one!!

Basically, I love ALL THINGS GOOGLE!!**

I use Google in and out of the classroom. For Open House a couple weeks ago, I created a Google folder on my professional Google Drive and adjusted the shared settings so anyone could view it. I made three documents in the folder: one was a greeting to parents thanking them for visiting me in the music room on the evening of Open House. The second was a list of educational (and fun!) websites that parents could visit along with their kids over Spring Break to learn about and create music. The third document was a list of music-themed iPad/iPhone apps that parents could download and enjoy with their kids. I turned the link to this folder into a QR code, printed it out and put it on my board for parents to scan as they visited. (I also had printouts in case they didn't have a QR scanner already on their phone.) 

On that same Open House, I had a second QR code to scan: a YouTube Playlist of videos to enjoy over Spring Break. 

(You could also shorten the URL if you wanted to just send out plain could include this or the QR code in your grade level's newsletter, etc.!)

Out of the classroom, I often use Google Docs to save time....or try to save time. If I need to gather information from coworkers for whatever reason, I will send out a Google Doc. Here's the issue: I often get several emails saying that they can't access it. Yes, I could open my share settings so that anyone could access it, but oftentimes, there might be sensitive information such as student names, ID numbers, etc. Is it likely that someone will find that doc without the link? No, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know how to access a Google Doc. My advice to anyone opening a Google Doc: always check to make sure you are logged in correctly! In my district, you must use your district log-in name. Many people have a personal plus a professional account. I find that is the #1 reason people fail to access Google Docs successfully. Double-check your log-in before emailing the sender! Google Docs are supposed to make life easier and cut down on emails. And if you're the one sending the Google Doc, always check your share settings to make sure others can edit or access before sending it. That cuts down on a lot of headaches as well.

Here are a few links that might help you get started:

Google in Education
40 Ways to Start Using Google Apps in the Class
Tips Every Teacher Should Know About Google Docs in Education
5 Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom
The 10 Best Google Doc Tips for Teachers as They Go Back to School
50 Little-Known Ways Google Docs Can Help in Education
20 Google Doc Secrets for Busy Teachers and Students

If you haven't tried Google in or out of your classroom, what are you waiting for? Share some ways that you have used Google in the music room by leaving me a comment! 

**Okay, except for maybe Google Slides. That one qualifies as just a "like." But that's just because I'm the last person on Earth that appreciates and adores PowerPoint for all it's hidden potential.

No comments :

Post a Comment