Google and Education in the 21st Century

Our school has gone Google.  We have officially been Google for almost one calendar year.

I have gone Google, to the extent that I intellectually understand what it means to Go Google:  Google Chrome, Google Site,  Google Drive,  Google Calendar,  Blogger, Chromebooks.  I realize I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything Google, but feel like I am dressed in Google, from my head to my toes: underwear, outerwear, hat, jacket, and gloves.

I have even dreamed in Google (No, really.)

This is education in the 21st Century.

While content is the fuel for education, technology is steering our teaching practice, our student learning, and our students’ future employ-ability.  After teaching 16 years, I have willingly accepted (arms wide open, by the way) the multiple ways my students can use technology as a tool to learn.  I have adjusted my teaching practice to utilize technology to present and share information with my students.  When I assess student writing, instead of using a pen to circle, highlight, annotate, and comment, I stare at a screen, pull up a student’s shared document, scroll, press ctrl+alt+m to comment, and use the multiple colored highlighters available on google docs signalling writing strengths and weaknesses in my effort and desire to help my students become better writers.

This is education in the 21st Century.

I use the Goolge site I have created to disseminate information to my students: assessments, assignments, announcements, resources.  I have created multiple Google calendars, one for each of my classes, to post due dates and assignments.  I have learned to embed these calendars into my Google site.  My students have access to this information any where in the world, any minute of the day, from nearly any device, where they have access to the internet.  I have used Blogger to generate discussion, gain feedback, and create a reciprocal (students/teacher) sharing experience.

I have always thought, as long as technology is playful and fun, I am willing to play with it, learn with it, and use it to benefit my teaching which in turn enhances the learning experience of the students attending my class.  I am one who preaches embracing confusion, however as soon as the technology becomes confusing, cumbersome, and work I tend to, like my students, never come back to it.  I have found Google intuitive, fun, and quite simple.

My students and I are learning, as we progress, how to best utilize the technology without letting it be the exclusive tool in our classroom.  I ask for student feedback and we collaborate to create the best possible learning experience for all of us.

This is education in the 21st Century.

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About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in #edtech, Education, students, Teaching, technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Google and Education in the 21st Century

  1. The intuitive nature of Google tools are what make them so great for enterprise, large scale implementation. They SHOULDN’T require a ton of point-click training. We switched to Google Apps this school year and a lot of our staff (or admin) feel like we need to keep having “how to create a contact list” type trainings over and over again. Frustrating.

    Like

    • StEnt says:

      @mrcbaker4math the more teachers (or anyone for that matter) ‘play’ with the google apps, the more competent they become at utilizing the technology. To a certain degree, I understand your frustration in the multiple trainings using the apps. The truth is, if people do not use the apps regularly they will lose the retention and scaffolding designed by the inherit elements of being trained.

      Keep the faith. You are going in the right direction which is where our students are leading us.

      Like

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