I chose to view an on-demand webinar presented on YouTube through the Google Education network.  I viewed the webinar on Monday, February 20, 2012.  The reason I chose to view this webinar was because at the previous school that I worked at we began using Google on a school-wide basis but only touched on the surface of this amazing tool.  Also, as a busy mother, being able to choose when I viewed this webinar was a real selling point for me.  All of the other webinars that looked interesting to me and would apply to my current teaching position were at times that would not have been convenient since my children would have been at home and I would have been unable to focus or participate.

I enjoyed the flexibility in watching this on-demand webinar.  When you attend an inservice or other formal presentation you are at the mercy of the presenter.  If you need to step away from the presentation, you will inevitably miss components of the presentation.  By viewing a webinar, if you need to step away, you can simply pause it.  Of course, live webinars will not offer you this same flexibility.  I also appreciated that there were no costs incurred by taking this course.

I came away from this webinar with a new appreciation for all things Google and Education.  Many of the things that were presented were strategies that I had already learned in the past year but there were several ideas that were new to me.  Utilizing Google Apps can increase efficiency, collaboration, and engagement through more than 32 different ways.  To follow are just a few of the strategies that were new to me.

  • Google Docs
    • teachers can collaborate and share lesson and unit planning in real time
    • meeting notes can be kept and shared
    • track homework
    • sign-up sheets
    • data collection
    • track the writing process of students, see the revision history
    • students can collaborate on assignments
  • Google Sites
    • Classroom and school websites
    • Digital portfolios
    • Science projects
  • Google Calendar
    • Collaborative with an entire school
    • Scheduling of library times, laptop, and lab times
    • Overlay schedules and share
  • Gmail
    • Send “undo” if you made a mistake
    • Message translation
    • Global penpals
    • Chat and video chat
  • Other “cool” stuff
    • Gadgets-flash card builder
    • Analyze science data and graph it
    • Reading records
    • Formative and summative assessments
    • Reading response journals

 

 

It was frustrating at the beginning when they were having a few technical difficulties and I was wondering if this would be something that they could have edited out prior to putting it out on the web.  However, overall, this did not detract from the ultimate message and training that was present in the webinar.  It would definitely not prevent me from “attending” another webinar again.

 

 

 

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