I orginally posted this about one year ago. @bgrasley mentioned to me to look back at some older entries and perhaps re -visit if I feel the same way, have added new things, maybe have more to say. I still use a google page in my classes and still feel the same way. I still have the occasional organizational glitch, but have been setting up folders a little more. I do with I was more googl-fied as it is not second nature to me yet, but as long as I am on the path and moving forward, I can still be happy. Progress, however slow, is still progress.
April 7, 2013
I use a Google page in my face to face class. It is a good option for some of the students I teach. Some advantages of having a Google class for me include:
– ease of logging in. I have “shared” the site with each student in my class. They log in to the google page and just hit “Sites” and there I am.
– school log in address. If my students are using the school log in, I always know there name and student number for password (I realize they can change it, but many for sheer need to have someone else help them, don’t!)
– my page is just that – ONE page. A lot of my students feel overwhelmed with having to navigate anywhere but just one spot. All they do is scroll down. I put and questions or videos to watch on the page.
– files. Any additional files I put are at the bottom. They can click and open files from the same page.
– seeing from home. My google page has links to our homeschool as well. We are all in the same school, so once they log in, they can also look around what events are happening in the school.
-seeing from home(2). If students do not log in regularly, they can see what is happening in the class.
-drive. Google drive has helped a lot of my students. They can easily share a document with me and other students in the class. We can all be on at the same time and add/edit if necessary. A student can see the changes I am making very easily WHILE I’m doing it. I don’t just have to point my finger and say, change this, I can show them.
-drive(2) In an effort to cut down on paper costs, drive allows them to submit assignments online and not print them out. This also helps for students who are not present on due date or miss a few days, they can hand it in remotely.
Admittedly, plenty of other class engines do all of these things, but for some reason I found Google docs, presentations, mail and sites quite easy (stop. I use “easy” too often. let’s try “user friendly” )to manipulate.
The biggest disadvantage I have seen with this is usually just my fault. What I do miss is the organization of “dropbox” features. What I mean by this is, because of the simplicity of using just one page for everything, students just share assignments in one area. I can organize this after the fact in folders, but if my students hand things in at different times, don’t label very well, or hand things in out of order, I am the one that has to organize it all.
Having designated discussion, blog, or dropbox areas is a tradeoff; however, my students have been more keen seeing the Google page than a different platform. This is due in large part because I don’t have regular access to computers and my students need this regularity and consistency to have success and move forward.
The conclusion I came to was that if my students can use it, it works. If they are not reluctant to try it, it works. If they get excited to work on it and “chat” it works. If they become just a tiny bit more keen on technology, it works.