May 7, 2014 6:00:00 AM
At CMA-SAS, we believe in personalized learning which means giving students a multitude of tools to achieve their dreams in the global economy. Here's a blog post that focuses on working in the cloud with a sharp focus on what Google can offer.
You may well remember the days when you used a typewriter to do your essays? The typewriter of course was a modern technology of its time that made writing easier and more efficient. Typewriter technology shifted to the home PC, and now it is moving toward the online format that is easily accessible around the clock.
Another shift in education is personalized learning. In the recent past learning occurred when a student was member of a captive audience in the classroom. Not anymore. Several years ago Google introduced Drive to its online tools for both learning and productivity. It has been expanding rapidly with add-on applications, and the system has become more streamlined.
So how does this help the online student with personalized learning? Simply put the use of Google Drive allows for both real-time and asynchronous collaboration between users. It allows for students to not only be able to write a paper, but they can peer share documents with fellow students and teachers. It can be especially helpful when students are collaborating with each other on an essay or presentation. When sharing a document with a teacher, both the student and teacher can interact through commentary and editing.
>One Tool To Work in the Cloud: Google Drive
Google presents several free online productivity suites, which are as follows:
Docs – This the online word processing editor for writing documents. It has many of the same features as other word processing programs and more. With Docs as you can download and save in multiple formats, including Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.
Presentation – This is the Google version of PowerPoint and Keynote. Presentations are easy to create, and unique in that it utilizes a simple drag and drop process for injecting media onto the display page. When students are working in groups, it allows them to collaborate and make decisions simultaneously. The finished product can be downloaded and saved into different formats as needed.
Spreadsheet – This is an online version of Excel. Students can easily create spreadsheets and develop very nice charts and diagrams.
Other Google Features
While Google does offer up online productivity suites, they also have a thriving social networking community called Google+. It is very similar to Facebook in many respects as students can create different circles of friends and acquaintances, post their status, and share photos.
>Google Hangout is an exciting feature for students. This service allows friends to have a group meeting live online. An online meeting can be texting as a group, conference call, and better yet a live video conference.
Finally, to wrap it all up, Google offers a wide range of add-on applications from their Google Apps for Education. Many of these applications are free to download and attach to a productivity suite. However, there are some that are paid or subscription services. You will have to do your homework before deciding on what will work or not for you.
Google Drive is an exceptional suite of online programs that benefit students and their personalized learning program allowing teachers and peers to collaborate in real time. Users can save their documents in the cloud, and best of all, it is free of charge.