Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Wonderful World of Google Drive

It wasn't until this year that I was finally introduced to Google Drive (formerly known as Google Docs) and it has been a life-changing experience. I knew Google was a powerful, awesome company, but my eyes have been opened this semester to just how cool Google really is. 

Photo retrieved from jlori's Flickr
I can't wait to have my own classroom and use Google Drive ALL THE TIME. It enables people to collaborate on projects and ideas without having to physically meet together. This feature is incredible for college students like myself; as the semester winds down, I simply do not have time to schedule group meetings anymore! I also love the fact that all documents are saved automatically and it's almost impossible to lose information. 

Another feature of Google Drive that I was surprised by was how many types of documents are available to use and edit! In my mind Google Docs held only one thing... Word Documents. I was so wrong! I've realized it's possible to use Google Drive for PowerPoints, surveys, videos, spreadsheets, and drawings. It's simply astounding. So here's to you, employees of Google! Kudos to your hard work. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Social Media in the Classroom

Retrieved from Jason A. Howie's flickr
Teaching high school students after I graduate will be much different than my experience as as high school student; technology is always changing and young adults are much more interested in expressing themselves online--creating their online identity, if you will. I think it's important to acknowledge that need in students and spin it into an educational light. I've read many articles and watched various videos about teachers who have used some kind of social media in a classroom environment; some teachers use a class Twitter account and post homework, others have a Facebook group available for class discussion. The opportunities with educational social media are endless.

According to an article written by Fran Smith, we should encourage sharing of ideas via social media because "...we live in a social world. We need to teach students how to be effective collaborators in that world, how to interact with people around them, how to be engaged, informed twenty-first century citizens." I liked this quote a lot because I think it is very true of the generation in school right now! They want to share their ideas with the world and get some kind of feedback--whether that be a "like" on Facebook or a "retweet" on Twitter.