Google Apps, and cloud solutions in general, are revolutionizing the way educators teach and students learn.
Using the power of interactive, cloud-based technology, school administrators and teachers can connect with students in a meaningful way, enhancing the overall learning experience. That said, first approaching these platforms can be overwhelming.
For those of you embarking on the Google Apps journey, here are ten Golden Rules to consider:
1. Energize everyone in your school community with a compelling internal marketing plan. Help lead the charge to have everyone be a part of this exciting new technology. Get everyone on board.
2. Expand your knowledge by taking advantage of the training that Google offers. You cannot fully utilize the program if you’re not aware of what it can do. Check out the list of Google in Education Global Summits and see when sessions are going on near you.
3. Protect your data with a reliable third-party backup partner. Google is secure, but you never know when it will have an outage or when a student might accidently delete important data. You would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to safeguarding all the information you’ll be pouring into Google Apps.
4. Invite parents to participate through interactive components like Gmail, Calendar, Spreadsheet, and Sites. Make it easy for them to be part of their students’ educational experience.
5. Collaborate with other teachers in your school or district with Google Docs. Share lesson plans and notes from meetings quickly and easily.
(Next page: Rules 6-10)
6. Encourage your students to work cooperatively with their peers through group projects using Google Presentations. Each student can add his or her own contribution seamlessly to create a dynamic group presentation.
7. Inspire your students by inviting guest speakers to address your class remotely through Google Hangouts. Bring your subjects to life in a way your students can understand. For example, have a video chat with a dream analysis expert when doing a unit on Freud in your Psych 101 class.
8. Understand your students better using the survey feature in Forms. Assess their current needs and what they are interested in to help you better set up your lesson plan.
9. Connect with administrators, teachers, and other educational professionals in your city, state, and around the country through User Groups. Learn from each other about the transformative power of this program.
10. Explore the many ways you can use Google Apps for Education. The number of resources available to help you find ways to incorporate this powerful platform into your educational planning is growing every day. One (hint, hint) is our newest eBook, “Mastering Google for the Classroom.” Take advantage of as many resources as you can to make your program the best that it can be. Never stop learning.
Rob May is CEO of Backupify, a leading provider of backup and recovery solutions for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
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