Our school went to Google Apps for Education approximately two years ago. It wasn’t an easy transition by any means but I think it has offered a plethora of exciting tools to use in our classrooms. I’ll confess that I’m a little bit of a Google Apps addict. I use Google products for much of what I do in the classroom. I use Gmail for my personal e-mail and have a Google Apps e-mail for school. I requested Google Apps e-mail addresses for all of my Grade 7’s last year. They did much of their work, especially their writing in Google Docs. In my Book+Tech Club last year, students used Google sites to create websites that compiled some of their learning about Online Safety and Net-iquette.
However, the one thing that made my life as a Grade 7 English teacher easier was a website that I developed and continually added to last year: https://sites.google.com/a/faith.edu.ph/grade-7-english/ I used this website as my Grade 7 “container.” I did a weekly digest of what students and parents could expect in the coming week on the main page. Then there were links in the navigation menu that led them to a variety of pages such as: a daily homework page, a list of what I was reading, the next big date to look forward to, reading requirements, an online reading log, and common handouts that students would often look for. This website was invaluable in keeping both students and parents informed.
Because I am not teaching Grade 7 this year, the page has not been updated since June but I believe it’s a pretty accurate reflection of how a Google App supplemented my teaching.