Labor day is behind us - we’ve officially reached back to school season. It’s time for new backpacks, supplies and for many schools….Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education is being used by K-12 and higher education institutions across the U.S and even the world. Backupify depicted the growth through our Growing up Google infographic. The Google Apps suite is helping students and teachers easily create and share Documents, Spreadsheets and Slides.

Already familiar with Google Apps for Education? Below are a few ways to take it up a notch and really make the grade:

1. Create a Quiz using Google Forms

Google Forms is a powerful tool. With a few mouse clicks, teachers can easily create a quiz for students. Google Forms allows for multiple choice and typed answers to capture just about any response to a question.  All the results of the quiz are stored within a Spreadsheet for easy grading with just a few formulas.

2. Create an Online Discussion using Google Groups 

Google Groups is a free service offered by Google to create online discussions.  When students collaborate on team projects, a Google Group can be used to help students share ideas, documents and information. Google Groups can really promote student conversations. For example, during my undergrad days at Northeastern University, I was required to log into Blackboard discussion board and post comments on particular topics as well as comment on my classmates’ thoughts which would factor into my participation grade. It’s simple to recreate that type of discussion board using Google Groups.

3. Receive Feedback from Students using Google Forms

Google Forms will give you the ability to hear directly from students. The possibilities for receiving feedback on group projects, homework, field trips, etc. are endless.  All results are captured in a Google Spreadsheet and come with a beautiful summary sheet.

4. Generate Status Reports with ease using Google Apps Spreadsheets 

Google Spreadsheets contains a super powerful tool called Google Apps Scripts. For the advanced user, a script can be coded to capture and collect information within a Spreadsheet and email it to a list of contacts.  Imagine generating a status report for each student - showing all their grades for the quarter and emailing it to their parent/guardian at a click of a button? Check out my previous blog post for more information on how Google Forms and Spreadsheets capabilities can be expanded using Scripts.

5. Metrics for Student Performance using Google Apps Spreadsheets

During the school year, a teacher leads a busy life. Student grades are often logged (hopefully in a Spreadsheet!) but how often are simple metrics being calculated in order to understand student knowledge retention?

Take for example, a classroom of 30 students - after a test, ask yourself if you have an understanding of these types of questions:

  • What was the average grade?
  • How about the minimum and maximum grade?
  • What was standard deviation?
  • What is the distribution curve for the data?
  • Does the distribution curve follow “normal” values or is it skewed?
  • Did this year’s class perform better or worse than last previous years?
  • If you changed the course format that you created over the summer, is it showing an increase in the overall performance from last year’s?

If you have Google Apps Spreadsheets, these answers, as well as bar/line graphs are easy to find through the use of Spreadsheet equations.

These are just a few suggestions outlining how to get more out of Google Apps for Education. Have any other helpful tips? Share them in the comments section below and follow our Backupify blog for more Google Apps for Edu posts.