Saturday, December 23, 2017

Getting Your Feet Wet with Google Apps for Education

Getting your feet wet means to edge slowly into something. It means that you are playing with the possibilities.

I was introduced to Google docs, spreadsheets, slides, classroom and calendar last fall. It might have been earlier. But like all things new it's hard to remember exactly when, unless of course you are keeping a Google journal.  Which now, I am.

Blogger, I have known since 2010 and Gmail a bit later. Both feel like second skin. How do you get to that feeling with anything.? Well you try it out...casually. It's like you are saying, "Hey, you...just going try this...don't be alarmed...just playing." When you act casually, whatever goes, goes. The need to be the expert goes out the door. It's like using crayons to color a place mat at a restaurant. You aren't coloring to create a masterpiece, no you are just trying it out. Something magical might happen, something might not. You are not tied to the outcome. It takes the pressure off and the inner critic stays locked away.

One of my first experiments was Google docs. Two things I love are the anytime, anywhere possibilities of Google docs. Back in the day, as a Language Arts consultant, even just a 10 years ago, I had to carry my presentation in a wheeled cart.  I needed a laptop, extension cord, speakers, projector, back up projector, paper handouts...the works!

Now...I need a link. A link...a digital link to the documents, to the presentation. No cart. I don't even need a bag, not even a tiny bag. Well, there are the books. But that is whole other post.

TRY it out at home!
Something simple I have tried this holiday season is to keep an Xmas present list on Google Docs. I have used it on my iPhone and on all my other devices to add a keep track of purchases. Updating the list, even as I leave the store. I have liked that is synced everywhere, on all my devices, unlike notes.
Also, it is not a cumbersome piece of paper that I need to remember to bring.

TRY it out at work!
As a learning coach, I used to create a schedule in word and then send it out as an attachment. Now, I create a schedule that teachers fill up. It is a collaborative. The link is live, no need for updates. This has saved so much time.

So that is it, a little bit of my journey. The message I am trying to get across is to try a Google app with something that you already do. Ask yourself, does it improve your lifestyle? Save time or increase access to information. If so, repeat...if not...try again.

Let me know how it goes...

Yours truly,

The Lit Maven

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