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Anywhere, Anytime…

October 14, 2009

Google AppsOver the last few weeks in particular, I have been in and out of classrooms where students are working together on many different projects.  We call it “collaboration” and it seems to be working as an instructional strategy.  The one issue that has come up at various times, particularly at the 5-12 grade level, is their lack of time to “collaborate” on projects outside of school.  Our students are extremely busy after school.  In Saline, we are blessed with endless extra-curricular activities that keep them physically and mentally active most nights.

As a District we have been working to help students collaborate using technology. We looked at how the adults in our organization communicate and collaborate – via email, Google chat, and shared Google documents.  In order for us to get our students on board – we need to provide them with email accounts based in Gmail. This provides them access to email that can be monitored for appropriate use and also allow them to collaborate with classmates both in school, and out of school.

With student’s email and shared document access – coordinating busy after-school schedules will no longer be an issue.  The best part of the deal is that it is completely free!  Google provides Google applications free of charge to educational institutions. Our students will have full access to communication (7 GB of email storage) and collaboration tools, document sharing, group calendars and websites – all at no cost.

Look for this beginning in January, 2010.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Kellstrom permalink
    October 14, 2009 6:21 pm

    Great article and links for people to check out. Gmail/Google Apps is a win-win for teachers & students. Teachers can share presentations, data, have students collaborate on projects within and outside the district, survey/check student understanding of a concept, peer edit, etc. Students reap all of the benefits listed above and many more as well as create/maintain an ePortfolio. The anytime, anywhere aspect is just icing on the cake! I’m looking forward to having another tech resource in the Saline Area Schools technology toolkit.

  2. October 14, 2009 8:44 pm

    It is utterly amazing as to how many activities in which many Saline students excel. As a long time proponent of collaborative learning the use of technology only increases its implementation.

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