Google Apps For Education

This amazing product is Free and can be used by developing countries in their school system as long as they have an internet connection and obviously computers:  problem is that traditionally these countries are IT challenged my experience with teachers is that they almost all don’t embrace technology as much as they should because if their daily curriculum workloads, I should know my wife is a teacher and I have worked in schools where their is all the electronic technology available and yet the personal style of “people” who go into teaching and management of schools is generally a “hands on” practical approach this is understandable.“Paperless office”  not a yet even in 2011
Teachers still prefer to use the  paper trail system where students get given photo copied assignments to take home as homework the student then hand writes or types up the “homework” in Microsoft word and either emails the work to their teacher  or print’s out again the homework on A4 paper and hands in the document the next day at school to be marked again by hand – the marked work is then handed back to the student for review and may even be resubmitted until the corrections have been completed to the teachers satisfaction.


This ancient system works as it has been in play for centuries- it has only recently improved slightly by some teachers adopting email and using word attachments for managing the students homework.

“The Old School System”

This system is still used in businesses and Schools today..

As you can imagine the management of each students records whether via email or paper based is cumbersome at the least – for example email based systems are great for communication but how do you manage version control – different versions of the revised document ? – or what happens if you delete an email ?
Paper based systems speak for them selves they are cumbersome and difficult to use when searching for assignments.
Many content management systems offer  a similar solution at a price but the free  answer is “Google Apps for education” using gmail combined with Google Docs -

The new improved way of doing business “ collaborating: is as follows:

Google apps for education:

Assume the school is called www.myschool.com
The administrator setups each student and teacher with  a unique email address within the organisation.
Then each  student who attends the class in this example we will use “English Literature” as the course is allocated to the Google group: Class 10 “English Literature” the email address may be class10e@myschool.com

In order for the teacher to communicate with all members “Class10” she simply sends an email to class10e@myschool.com and each student will receive and a copy of the teachers email.

How to assign “Homework” using Google apps for education:

Step by step

Creating Assingment:
Teacher creates a document named ie “ Mcbeth homework assignement” in Google docs she wants each student  to complete 10 questions.
In orderto mantain the intergrty of the original questionaire created  in Google docs the teacher must first save the document as a “template” before handing out the ASIGNMENT

This is straight forwars the teacher SHARES the document with the class English Literature using the groups (class) email address  “class10e@myschool.com “ one of the options Google gives you when sharing a document is to email all members of the group notifying them of that they have been allocated acess to edit a document.

Each student will be able to open  the template to view its contents then in order to use the document they will be directed to save a a copy ofn the template in their personal storage area.
Each student then competes their individual assignment and in turn share their copy of the template with the teacher by using the google “Share and eamil” facility . In turn the teacher will receive an email form each student notifying her of the assignments that have been completed.

Google docs does not send attachements – it simply sends a link and
and the receiving person is directed to view and edit the document online using the Google editer – this method ensure the intergrity of the docuement is managed and version control is in tact

is all seems straightforward however what happens when the
teacher marks the document by insertin g comments and requesting the students corrects her work – How does Google manage this : the answer is fairly straightforward  -Googlr docs uses version control and one can view all changes made by author by date
The teacher may in turn send each student an email via google groups or individually to view and correct their documents -
Finally the teacher can tally each students results by enetring them into on an online spreadsheet which can be made availae for viewing by the students of the group.

Asigments management can be even more advanced by making use of Google Forms
Forms is a sophisticated system thta works using Google spreadsheets and allows the creator to capture answers from multiple respondents
The results are stored in a spreadsheet for

SEE EXAMPLE

SEE version control cycle

What is lacking is a shared curriculm that countries can adopt my aim is to organise a site  that p2p shares and manages …..

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Whilst  I was living  in the Philippines I saw an articile on a poor homeless student in the local newspaper, the studnet was photographed sitiing  under a bridge where he lived –  he had a laptop and was connected to the internet –  What an amazing picture – technology has no boundriesif only we could change lives using FREE technology
I setup and trained over100 Google aps users learning along the way – these techniques I have included as real life examples that can be used in business or education.