All Things Google
Google provides a range of programs and services, some of which have similar sounding names.
Below is a list of all the Google offerings we utilize in the district.
Chrome is a web browser, like Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. It works nicely with Google accounts, since it lets you sync your bookmarks and settings across different devices by signing into your profile. The services listed below work best in Google Chrome. There are many extensions available to choose from, like weather plugins, radio stations and ad blockers. There are also many educational extensions available in the Chrome Web Store, like Classroom, Grammarly, and Read & Write. Chrome is installed on all district computers.
Google recently introduced a new name for Google Apps for Education that better reflects the collaborative power of their tools and reinforces their dedication to teachers and students: G Suite for Education.
G Suite for Education is the same set of apps that you know and love—Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more— but designed with new intelligent features that make work easier and bring teachers and students together. See a demo. Visit the Learning Center for help getting started.
Google Drive is what we use to store & share files. You may be familiar with Dropbox; Drive functions on a similar principle, offering unlimited storage of files on Google's servers, which can then be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. These files 'sync' to your computer using the Google Drive application, which is installed on all teacher stations by default. You can also access your Drive on the web:
Google Mail (Gmail)
Our email system is based on Gmail, Google's Email service. It features contact lists, folders (Google calls them "labels") and automatic email sorting. You can access your mail either through a third-party application (like the Mail app/the "Stamp" on OS X or Thunderbird on Windows), but the easiest and most feature-rich way is to use the Gmail website:
Google Docs is a word processor (similar to Microsoft Word) which runs in your web browser (and thus loads much faster than Word!). Documents you create in Google Docs will automatically be saved to your Google Drive (the storage service), and can easily be shared with other staff members. You can also collaborate with multiple people on the same document in real-time, and open Word documents in the .doc or .docx format for viewing and editing (which will then be saved as a separate file to your drive in .gdoc format). Docs can be found at:
Sheets allows you to create online spreadsheets (similar to Microsoft Excel). It supports nearly all of the same features and allows for collaborative spreadsheet editing. You can use formulas and data formatting, and even choose which cells others are allowed to edit when you share a document with them. You can find Sheets at:
Slides lets you create presentations, similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. You can embed photos, videos and music, and collaborate on a presentation with multiple people. You can publish student work in book format with Slides, create stop animation videos along with many more classroom applications. Presentations can also be exported and downloaded as .ppt so they will play offline in PowerPoint. You can find Slides at:
Classroom is an Education-only service offered by Google that allows student and teacher collaboration, task assignment, lesson planning, keeping in touch with parents and much more. It's so full featured that there are entire guides and sites dedicated to it alone. Here is a good starting point if you'd like to learn more about what it can do. You can access Google Classroom at:
Utilize your calendar to share with your colleagues, parents, and students. Google Classroom automatically creates a classroom calendar for each class you create. It integrates with your email and all other Google apps.
You can create a quick quiz, collect information, automatically print certificates for student of the month, and much more with Google Forms.
You can launch a website for your class, your team or a project with the new easy site builder. Sites can be built collaboratively with staff and students.
These devices run a lightweight operating system known as Chrome OS and come in several different styles, though their functionality & capability is exactly the same. Applications can be installed as Chrome extensions. Here is what can be found in the district:
- Laptops with microphone & camera that run Chrome OS.
- Their battery life averages ~3 hours.
- Some newer models have touchscreens.
- Often travel in carts.
- Workstations with mouse & keyboard.
- They have larger screens and a "Reader" mode, which dims the screen for lessened eye strain.
- Low-profile, mainly deployed in labs for demonstrations.