Google Apps for Education is an incredibly popular ecosystem for students, teachers and everyone in between. From Google Docs to YouTube, this suite of resources and tools is becoming more of a central fixture in our schools. However, there are some lesser-used Google Apps that have great potential to impact teaching and learning. Here are three Google Apps that I think deserve a little more love...
- Google Drawings. This is the lost child of Google Drive. Hank Thiele, a friend and fellow GCT, opened my eyes to the magic of Google Drawings about a year ago. Ever since I cannot get enough. Some powerful use cases include mind mapping, using the scribble tool as a virtual whiteboard and leveraging revision history as a metacognitive timeline. Hank also showed me how to use Google Drawings to create aesthetically pleasing buttons on a Google Site. Boom! Click here for additional info.
- Google Moderator. This discussion site offers a ton of great free features to encourage classroom collaboration. From the ability to up-vote comments, to threaded replies and yes - moderated discussions - this platform is surprisingly useful for an oft-overlooked tool. To learn more, here is a blog post and here is a video.
- Google Maps Engine. If you ever used Google Maps “My Maps”, you’ll be excited to see Google Maps Engine Lite. It’s a great way to layer information on Maps - either manually entered or via Google Spreadsheet data. You can embed images and change place markers based on their category. Despite how uses and options Maps Engine Lite offers, it’s simple enough for even lower elementary students to graps. Head over to this page and dig in!
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