Tips and Tricks for Google Apps for Education

One of the things that I am asked to help teachers and students with most is Google Apps for Education (GAFE). I am proud to be part of a district that is utilizing this tool, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about how powerful it is. It can also sometimes seem overwhelming to new users, and with features being added all the time, I am constantly learning and trying new things, too.

Below are a few of my favorite resources for users of all levels on how to make Google Apps for Education work for you. The tutorials and help sections straight from Google are extremely helpful, but sometimes it’s nice to have information in multiple formats/styles. Please let me know if you’ve got others that I can share with my teachers!

RISD Google Apps Training – specifically designed for Richardson ISD, but lots of good information

100 Important Google Drive Tips for Teachers and Students and Google Drive Video Tutorials – from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

GoogleDrive Blog

Google Tutorials – from Richard Byrne: Free Technology for Teachers

Beginner and Intermediate Webinars for GAFE – From ESU 5 Technology Integration

 

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TEDEd – Lessons Worth Sharing

What Causes the Phases of the Moon Lesson Page

So I’ve been a fan of TED videos and the TED Radio Hour on NPR for both personal and teaching use, but I can’t believe I hadn’t explored the full lessons available on TEDEd before. We just finished studying the phases of the moon in my 8th Grade Science class, but I know this is a topic that many of my students struggle with. I am always looking for more lessons and different ways to address the topic, so I was excited when I found a link for this video on Twitter. When I got to the page, I was surprised to find that there was a whole “flipped” format lesson to go along with it, including assessment questions, supporting reading materials, and an open-discussion question. The format would be great to assign to students as an independent flipped lesson through something like Edmodo, but I could also see a teacher very easily using the materials in a whole class activity with face-to-face discussions, too. I love how it is a small chunk of information presented and assessed in a variety of ways – perfect for differentiated instruction in a junior high classroom!

There are hundreds of lessons organized by content area, and you can even see how many times they have been viewed or used by other people. Obviously, I am particularly excited to share that there are over 5 pages of videos for Science alone, but there are also interesting and engaging resources for math, literature, social studies, health, and psychology, among other topics.

Since the videos are short (usually 6 minutes or less) and the material is well organized, it would be easy to incorporate one of them as a warm-up or hook as you are starting a new lesson. Let me know if you find one that works for your class!