There is no company currently fostering greater EdTech innovation, and providing more consistent instructional technology support, than Google. Ok, so this is an extremely broad statement, but I am struck over and over again with how dependent I have become on Google products in my teaching life. In this post I will introduce a number of tools on a superficial level with an eye towards discussing each in detail in later posts. [one_half last=”no”][title size=”2″]Gmail[/title]imgres
Many schools are now using gmail as a host for email communications, though not all institutions play for the extended Google Education App Suite. (No institutional affiliation is required.) Regardless, gmail is the door to Google’s other services. When you sign-up for a gmail account you get access to all of the service below. Gmail provides you with 15gb of space, handles languages well, is accessible from almost anywhere, integrates with countless apps and has a million other features I will discuss. [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”][title size=”2″]Google Search[/title]google-hummingbird
Google is the default portal for a large percentage of internet users (67%). For educators, the ability to search images, data, books, videos and scholarly articles, is invaluable. I will be discussing some tips and tricks for more effective (and safe) Google searching.[/one_half] [one_half last=”no”][title size=”2″]YouTube[/title]YouTube_logo_standard_white
YouTube is incredibly important for educators. When you sign-up for a gmail account, you automatically get access to YouTube’s hosting services. I will be discussing YouTube as a resource for musical materials, documentaries, how-tos, and performances. I will also discuss YouTube as a hosting service for your educational videos, and YouTube as an a video editing suite. [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”][title size=”2″]Google Drive[/title]images
Google Drive is another benefit you will gain by signing up for a gmail account. Google Drive functions as a cloud storage space where you can dump all of your important files. Like Dropbox, you can share a collaboratively work on files in this space (up to 15gb). [/one_half] [one_half last=”no”] [title size=”2″]Google Docs[/title]imgres-1
Google Docs live in your Google Drive space and function as a cloud based “Office Suite”, with its own version of “Word”, “Excel” and “PowerPoint”. The difference is that these documents live online and can be worked on collaboratively. Another great feature of Google Documents is the form feature that allows you to create detailed and multi-functional surveys and data collection tools. [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”][title size=”2″]Google Calendar[/title]imgres-2
Google Calendars are a great way to schedule events, send invitations, detail class events and create alerts that can be shared with students over their mobile devices. These calendars have the further benefit of being embeddable on websites and in Learning Management Systems.[/one_half] [one_half last=”no”][title size=”2″]Google Play[/title]images-1
Google Play allows you to upload and store your music library online. This can include any playlist you create in iTunes. Google Play allows you to upload 25,000 tracks for free which can be increased for a fee. It also has a decent iOS app that can be used to stream your library from anywhere.[/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”][title size=”2″]Blogger[/title]imgres-3
Google allows you and your students to create endless blogs where they can save and share their thoughts and observations. It is a great way to get your students writing and thinking about a subject. It is also a useful way to share information and centralize course details for your students. [/one_half]


[title size=”2″]Google+, Google Hangout, YouTube Live Events[/title] I mention these all together because they function as a unit. Google hangout allows for group video chats, the ability to share screens, and collaborative work. In order to use Google Hangout you need Google+ accout which will install a video plugin into your gmail account. YouTube live events are a combination of YouTube and Google Hangout that allows for the hosting of live events from inside your Google Hangout. In this way, students can attend live events that you host from inside your own Hangout space.