Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Google Docs - Right tool for Primary Education?

I have been working between two platforms (mac and PC) over the last couple of months. The usual hurdles have been encountered - not being able to open office 2007 on my mac, backing up each computer to ensure the hard drive is up to date and I can access the documents as and when I need to.
This prompted me to give google docs a real go. For someone very comfortable in the use of Microsoft Office for a number of years I have been pleasantly surprised just how good it is. I can share the same document amongst many folders, share the document with whom I want and collaborate on documents when the need arises. It doesn't matter what platform or software I have as it all sits on the web. As long as the connection is good I can access my docs anytime, anywhere!
In thinking about IT solutions for Mt Wellington School it seems a very good option.
Anyone giving it a go in their schools?


Pete Hall said...

I've been using G-Docs for the last few year. I've had a class account where all my kids can use templates and folders I've shared with them from my personal account. It also means they can publish whenever they choose. I've even had kids publish work while they're home sick in bed.

It's also good for admin and organisation and I've used it to organise and share release schedules for staff PD. We use it school-wide for storing staff and reliever contacts and schedules and IT booking timetables. Because changing behaviours and up-skilling staff can be one of the greatest challenges, it's much easier to integrate if you kick it off early as part of the standard operational systems in the school.

Dorothy and Russell at Pt England have given it a full go and love it. They'd love to offer some advice and support I'm sure.
To take the web access to the next level, you don't even need to be connected to work on your documents. Install a program called Google Gears and you can edit and create docs that then get updated when you are next online.

look forward to reading about how you go with it.


Pete Hall said...

See the Google Group for Apps in schools.

Sarah Martin said...

Hi Pete,

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with google docs. I can see huge potential.
Hope your term has started well.

Many thanks for the link also.

Fletchspeak said...

Hi Sarah -we have been using Google Docs as a communication/ sharing tool for the past year. It has made a huge difference in the sharing of stuff for teachers (no more I cant open that comment) It also eradicates the pressure on our server. Well worth the setup. In fact I see in the near future the e-mailing od docs etc will be gone from our toolbox.