5 Secrets for Teachers Going Google

Not to sound naive, but it's been easy not worrying about Google and how much it knows about me. Maybe I'm not the type to demonize things, or maybe the benefits of using Google Chrome and the suite apps outweigh the risks.

I can't say that I understand why some people refuse to make the shift from clunky software like Microsoft Office to Google Drive. I'm trying, but the alternatives to Google are too inefficient for me to consider that the risks may one day outweigh the benefits.

Here are some "secrets" that I hope the anti-Googlers will consider. It's also a list that I made in an attempt to understand why I use Google and why some refuse it.

1. Google knows what you're looking for.

At first, I didn't like that Google would suggest results before I even finished typing the word. Now that I know how to use the Omnibox, it often knows what I'm looking for better than I would. 

2. It's more than Gmail.

If you have a Gmail account, you have YouTube, Drive, Sites, Calendar, and so much more.

3. YouTube is the second largest search engine, second to Google.

With a billion users and 6 billion hours watched per month, YouTube uploads are estimated at 300 hours per minute. Facebook has no problem consuming those numbers. Its users watch almost a year's worth of YouTube videos every minute.

4. Kids are already Google.

Google Apps for Education is taking hold in many schools, and the Chromebook is becoming the device of choice for classrooms. Kids love Google – not because it gives them the answers. Well ... Maybe that's why we all love it. But seriously ... Kids use YouTube for everything. Everything!

I'm also guilty of saving hundreds of dollars on repairs around the house by watching YouTube videos, which is a routine I've picked up from my students.

5. Files will automatically reformat.

Try dropping one Word doc into your Drive. You can set it to convert it to a Google format automatically or keep it as a Word format. This can easily be done later, too. 

Here's the secret. Google formats take up zero space on your drive. Why would anyone keep the Microsoft format? Google is quicker to load and easier to create.

One day, Google – Alphabet, or whatever you call it – could control the world, as the conspiracy theory goes. Fortunately, for my outlook, the sky is not falling and Google will not control my world.