Since I am already pretty familiar with many of Google’s most used features, I thought I would try and create something that I have wanted to set up for my class in the future – a blog! Unfortunately, Google hasn’t progressed that far yet, and they don’t have an option for a class blog that can be built into Google Classroom. I decided to play around with Google Sites, and I created a relatively simple class website that I could share with parents and students to give them access to what is going on in school, and to get easier access to a calendar where students can see what is going to be due soon. I also envision having a place where students can download copies of homework assignments so that if they lose them, they can print them at home or submit them to me online. I feel that this website could contain many features, such as a place for students to post or to comment on things, but I did not see anywhere that that could be an option.
The other thing that I found that I want my students to install on their Chromebooks is this app called “Google Cast for Education” which allows students to cast whatever is on their screen to my computer so that I can display it on the Smartboard which is connected to my computer through a wireless AppleTV connection. Often students will be researching something, or will want to display something on their screen to the class, and rather than sharing it with me or having me find it on my computer, it would be useful for students to have this installed on their Chromebooks.
I see a future where there are no more desks or pens and paper in a classroom, and all there is are places for students to sit and work on their Chromebooks, and all the learning and assessment is done on their computers. I see furniture that is flexible and easy to move to make space for collaboration between students and the teacher, and I think Google is the leader in getting us towards this future.
The other thing that I found super cool while exploring some of the “Hipster Google” apps was the Google Trends app. It allows you to see in real-time what people all over the world are googling, and what popular Google searches are happening in countries all over the world. I’m not sure how it would be beneficial in an Educational context, I just thought it was a cool feature, and a cool way to see what people are interested in in this specific moment in time. I also set it as my screensaver.