On March 9, our staff met for our third day of Google Apps for Education. On this day, we logged into our domain and looked at google reader, google calendar, and google email.
I shared my google reader and how it helps me keep up with articles, news, blogs – at work and for hobbies. Using a “reader” brings the information to you—you don’t have to go out and search for it, it comes to your computer email or reader page. This helps me a lot in keeping up with work, new ideas (that I don’t have to create, but just implement). This saves a lot of time and I gain the knowledge from other educators.
Another great way to have information come to you is through google alerts. I use them for school and for hobbies, and family. Each day my mailbox has one email on my school alerts for videoconferencing and for instructional technology. I also use it for Old English sheepdogs (dog rescue & transport). For my personal life, I get an alert when one of my sons is the referee on a college soccer game or the other son has a new article published in the newspaper (journalist). It is a modern way to keep up with families across the country and world. Again, information comes to me and it saves time.
The great part about Google Apps for Education at RHES is that it is closed to the public. Our students can only email each other and their teachers. No email comes into our domain and no email goes out of our domain. This gives us the opportunity to teach students how to use email in a safe environment. Once students are 13, they can have an email account without parent permission and there is no instruction. Learning this at an early age allows us to include the importance of our character traits when using email, reminding children to be kind, write positives, use email for school work, and most important to tie it to the “golden rule.” Without instruction, our students are left to their own resorts, temperaments – they need instruction and positive, gentle, guidance.