Have no fear! Google Docs is here!

Spiders, snakes, and heights might be something you fear, but technology should never be included in your list of nightmarish items. This is where ORVSD (Oregon Virtual School District) comes into play. We are a group of educators providing free technology training for teachers. With a focus on the Google Apps in Education platform, Moodle, WordPress, and Drupal, we can help you integrate meaningful technology into your classroom. There is a great emphasis on technology integration in the CCSS; therefore, teachers are needing to increase their knowledge and use of technology in the classroom. These platforms meet the CCSS expectations and provide many beneficial features.

As an English teacher, one of my favorite features of the Google Apps is Google Docs. Google Docs embraces collaboration. In Google Docs I can create curriculum, share it with my PLC, post viewable documents online for my students to access and even grade and leave comments in documents to help my students with their writing (YouTube Tutorial).  My colleagues and I have recreated our curriculum maps using Google Spreadsheets because each of us have editing rights to the doc because of the sharing features in Google. Every time something is edited in the shared doc, we all automatically receive an updated version of the document. Gone are the days of emailing attached word documents to multiple people, receiving multiple edited versions of the document and trying to copy and paste all of the revisions into the original document. Now we can all work in the same doc at the same time! Most importantly, goodbye worrying about unexpected computer crashes and shut offs that result in lost documents. Google makes it easy for you to collaborate.

Another of my favorite features in Google Docs is the ability to leave comments. My students peer edit their essays using Google Docs by sharing their document with their peer editor. They are able leave constructive criticism and recommendations by highlighting and commenting on the text. This not only helps communication in the classroom, but saves a tremendous amount of paper. Also, students can access their document from any computer that is connected to the Internet. I used to hear the, ‘I forgot my thumb drive and it has my essay on it” or “I can’t find my document” excuse consistently. Not anymore thanks to Google.

There are many benefits to Google Apps in Education and I have barely begun to break the surface of them. I invite you to check out the great features that Google can offer to you and your students.  Have no fear, you too can easily become a master of Google Apps through attending ORVSD trainings like the Google Summit in October at Westview High School, ORVSD webinars and other ORVSD sponsored trainings like Klamath Basin Ed Tech Day. Check out our website and see what have to offer to help you in the integration of technology into your classroom. I promise- we won’t bite!

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