Google Madness 2016 – Google Apps Suite

4 Mar

These Google Apps make the world go ’round…..really….well, at least my world goes ’round because of the Google Apps Suite.  The suite are the main Google Apps that are a part of our Google Apps for Education (GAfE – I have heard this pronounced in MANY different ways. Tom-ay-to / Tom-ah-to)

The majority of these core apps are found in your waffle button.  If you’re logged into Google Drive, there’s a gray waffle or if you’re on a laptop you’ll see a colorful one, too.  If you’re on a Chromebook, you’ll select your App Launcher.

Accessing Google Apps (1)

Google always has multiple ways to access their tools, so there is no one right way to get to your GAfE tools.

Alright, lets take a look at the bracket:

Google Madness - Google Apps Suite

Let’s look at a few match ups

Screenshot 2016-03-09 at 1.38.09 PM

This is a tough match up!

If you know me, clearly there is some bias here.  If you’ve never used Google Drawing before, you’re missing out.  If you’re the type of person that likes to start projects from scratch, Drawing gives you a blank canvas with plenty of drawing and text tools to get the job done.  You have flexibility for downloading Drawing files to many different file types.  You can also insert Drawings into Docs from the Insert drop down! And, like the majority of the tools in this

Slides have the same drawing tools as Drawing.  Perks to using Slides is you can embed YouTube videos into your slides for seamless presentations.  Students tend to gravitate towards Slides because of their familiarity with Power Point, but Slides can be used for much more than just a presentation.  Carol Kocmond, science teacher at Wredling, created a template for all of her students to keep a reflective science journal.  She even grabbed an awesome theme from Slides Carnival and let her students customize it!

Screenshot 2016-03-09 at 1.27.56 PM


Here are a couple other tools you may not know about as you complete your bracket:

GroupsGroups – right now, Groups is a tool you can use with other teachers, not students.  Essentially, Groups lets you create a custom distribution group.  This allows you to quickly email and share documents with a set group of people.  All of us are a part of D303 Google Groups (our building, grade level, PLC, etc.), but you can create your own here: Create a Google Group

HangoutsHangouts – This tool has revolutionized how I interact with teachers across the district. Hangouts is a video chat application that lets you connect anywhere. You don’t always have to meet face-to-face, especially when there are time constraints.  Hangouts allows you to see each other, chat, share links and documents, share your screen, etc.  Give it a try with a colleague in another building!

GPlusGoogle Plus – I think this is another untapped Google tool.  Google Plus is Google’s social media site.  Only teachers in our district have access to Google Plus, BUT there are a lot of ways to connect in this environment.  Remember Hangouts? In Google Plus you can schedule hangouts and then it will be on everyone’s calendar.  There is also a place in Google Plus called Communities.  Communities are groups of people that are in a group and share resources, troubleshoot, ask questions, etc.  Did you know we have a D303 Tech for Teachers and Students community?  (well…you should get on joining that)

keepKeep – Google Keep is the sticky note application to top all sticky note applications.  Features of Keep include: sharing and collaborating on the same note, saving the note to Google Doc when you’re done, it syncs across all your devices, you can add images, color code, there are tons of search options….okay, I can keep going (I think a blog post devoted to Keep is in order!).  Take a look at what this can do.  You can also create checklists for students and then share it with them – as they check off their tasks, you can see what they’ve done.

Alright, I hope this made you more familiar with some of the tools. Now fill out this section of your bracket and get ready to vote soon!



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