Saturday, January 9, 2016

10 Things Google Apps For Education Replaces

It's been three years since I started using Google Docs, and it's relieving to reflect on how much more productive I am now that Google Apps are my go to for so many daily routines.


Thinking back to the beginning, it was a student who showed me Docs. I was complaining about Dropbox, and he mentioned that I have a similar app with my Gmail account. From that day, it was a gradual replacement of non-Google apps. I was soon sold on the idea of having so much in one platform.

Here are some of the things I've replaced. 

1. Microsoft Office

Word and PPT were two of my most used tools to make instructional materials. Thankfully, Drive converts those formats to Docs and Slides. Sure, you can do everything in PPT, but Slides is quicker and easier, especially if you publish to the Internet and use videos from YouTube.

10 Activities with Google Slides

2. External Drives

Forget about not having your files. If the Internet connection is good, all of your files can be accessed from whichever computer you're signed into. This is crucial for schools because both students and teachers can find themselves at a different computer or even a different classroom from time to time.

The Internet has proven to be more reliable than my ability to remember an external drive.

3. Firefox

Google Chrome is the only browser for me because the customization supports the efficiency of my daily routines. Firefox was a good step up from Internet Explorer, but Chrome takes it all a step further for users who find themselves at multiple work stations throughout the day.

Sign in and enjoy the same settings on different devices.

4. Paint

Paint does not even come close to Google Drawing. I use Drawing to make images for blog posts and graphic organizers for my students. My students use it to do map activities, make graphic organizers, and so much more.

5. Photoshop (light editions)

Drawing can also be used to edit photos. What's great about it is that you can recolor, crop, add layers, and change the transparency of images. It's not Adobe, but it's perfect for the quick fix.

6. Edmodo 

The ability to communicate with my students safely is key. I appreciate the social media format that Edmodo provides, but it could never keep up with the volume of files that I need to share with my high schoolers. Google Classroom is the one for sharing with students from Drive and managing communications.

10 Google Classroom Routines that Work

7. Dropbox 

I was really into the potential of Dropbox. It was the first cloud storage that change the way I manage files. But for so long, that's all it did, and it cost money for more usage. Schools have money for free. Google is free.

8. Paper 

Printing and copying is not over in schools. We still need paper copies, depending on the intended use. For example, I would not use paper if the goal was to have students work on the same document simultaneously. Docs works great for that.

Read Flattening Our Classroom for a closer look at one class, one document.

9. DVDs and VHS 

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and contains more content than anyone one would need in several lifetimes. It would take an ancient Chinese dynasty to watch what is uploaded. Plus, you can make playlists that can be shared with students or embedded on a class site. Try doing all of that with DVD or VHS.

10. Scantrons

Google Forms and Flubaroo can do it all. No paper. No waiting for the Scantron machine that will probably break once it's your turn. Plus, the data analysis that can be done with Flubaroo is a must have for classroom teachers.

10 Tips About Using Google Forms for Learning

Thanks for reading. Share a comment on how you use Google Apps for Education to replace an old tool or routine.