Google Docs in the Classroom

Recently our senior students began using a technology called "Google Docs". What is it and why is it important for Muskoka Christian School?

Google Docs (and Google Drive) is one of many ways to access a relatively new technology called "The Cloud". Whenever technology writers have wanted to show an illustration involving the Internet, a cloud was used, hence the name "The Cloud". Instead of storing our documents and media on CDs, thumb-drives or memory cards, it is now possible to store them on the Internet, i.e. cloud. This allows us access to our documents from any device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.) that is connected to the Internet. 

There are many benefits to anyone using this technology, but some specific to education and us at Muskoka Christian School. One obvious benefit is that is it no longer necessary to carry around any physical media to store our files, eliminating the student nightmare of "I forgot my thumbdrive with my project at home!” Students can begin a document at school and continue at home needing nothing more than a web browser. 

In the classroom, other benefits present themselves that were not possible prior to using the Internet. Students can collaborate on a document at the same time - even in different physical locations! Documents can be shared (with other students and the teacher) and printed. A revision history is kept for each document to monitor student progress. Writing and reference tools are integrated into the environment and files are compatible with most major office software such as Microsoft or LibreOffice. Documents can be freed from the traditional 2D paper environment and include media (such as sound or video) and can become truly interactive if desired.

There are many other benefits, but even with this short list, it is clear to see why this is a technology we are embracing at MCS and guiding students in the use of these helpful tools. Below are links to articles detailing more information about using this technology for education.

http://blog.vingapp.com/corporate/benefits-google-apps-classroom-home/

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2014/10/why_schools_need_google_drive.html

http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/google-drive-for-students/

 

This article is written by our resident computer technologist, Roger King. Among teaching technology, Roger teaches many subjects and grade levels at MCS.

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