I have been using Google and Google Aps in my classroom and with my students for the past two years.  Each year I use Google, I am able to incorporate more of the Apps into my teaching.  My district has issued each student a Google account.  This has made the difference in using Google Apps with my students. 

Last year I utilized Google Docs in many aspects of my teaching.  I started the year with basis documents and taught my students how to share these with me.  From there the students began to share their documents with their classmates.  I then taught them how to use the comment feature and they began to peer edit.  My students were then able to collaborate on documents and I saw in increase in writing at home.  Google Docs was a novelty and my students were loving it.  I was bombarded with shared documents from my students; nightly writing, poems, stories, presentations, etc.  Google Docs have made writing fun for my students.

My hope this year is to make better use of my Google Site.  I want to encourage my students to utilize the links I have included.  I hope that they will use the calendar and hold me accountable to keeping it updated.  I also hope that parents will use the links I have included for them.  I think they will find the calendar helpful in keeping their child organized and accountable. 

I would like to find more uses for Google Sites.  I think it would be great to have my students each create their own Google Site to use as an online portfolio.  They will have their Google accounts until they graduate from the district and will be able to add to this portfolio each year. 

Google Apps has been a great addition to my classroom and I look forward to finding new ways to incorporate it into my teaching practices.

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Comment by Sheri on August 26, 2012 at 10:36pm

Hello Sara, I also use Google Apps for Education with my students. I have a class site that is the home page on the computers in our classroom. Our student site is private, and students just started a simple portfolio last spring. We're starting small with one website for all students. Each student creates a home page in this site links to subpages for sharing their reflections and work. We just started, so I don't have any other information on how it will work.  However, the students LOVE using Google Apps for writing, presenting, feedback, and sharing.

We also use Teacher Dashboard by Hapara to manage Google Apps. Although it has a cost, it is worth it. I look forward to hearing how you set up your portfolios.

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