Back in May, we wrote about the generation of students who have grown up Google and reported that 20 million students are using Google Apps for education each day. Having access to this relatively new technology is one thing, but as a teacher how do you ensure you’re getting the most out of the tools in your own classroom? In today’s post we will look at a few quick tips for getting started with Google in the classroom.

Lesson Planning

Rather than creating a lesson plan and then emailing versions back and forth between your fellow teachers, now you can simply create one copy of your document for sharing and editing amongst colleagues. Simply share your draft with colleagues in your department and let them provide feedback, in real time.

Once the lesson plan is finalized, the work is done but the sharing has just begun. We suggest building out a folder structure in Google that organizes your work by grade or department. This makes it easy to share the right content with the appropriate colleague and helps keep your work organized too.

Collecting Assignments

Teacher John Miller blogs regularly about his use of technology in his own classroom. He described a simple way to collect student assignments using a Google form. It’s a quick tip and worth sharing. Check out the steps below to get started and thanks to John for sharing!

  • Create and share a Google form to be used as an inbox.

  • Students can complete the short form and submit a link to their Google doc.

  • The students information populates a spreadsheet where the teacher can track submissions, grade and review their students work.

This idea from John is a perfect example of how new technology has put the power of innovation in the hands of our teachers. We will see more innovation like this as more school districts adopt Google Apps.

Self Grading Quiz

This tip makes posting practice quizzes online for student self study easy. The first step is to create a quiz with multiple choice questions. Once you have the quiz, fill it out yourself with the correct answers and submit them into Google’s system. Google Apps does the heavy lifting for you and will grade each quiz against the correct answers you provided - in real time. Now you can share a single link with your students and they can take the practice quiz on their own time, while getting immediate feedback. You can publish the results and show each student how to find their own score.

These are just a few examples of the unlimited potential of Google Apps in the classroom. We’d love to hear your thoughts about other ways you or your children’s teachers have utilized Google Apps in their classrooms. Please leave a comment below.