Last year we began using Google Apps for Education in our school. This is a bit different from most of the things the others have been talking to you about because a lot of what we do is behind the scenes. We don't share it with the world until it is finished.
Google Apps is often called 'Cloud Computing' because we work on documents and presentations that live somewhere up in the clouds. Or maybe at the Googleplex in California! If I start working on a document at school I can continue working on it at home or anywhere else that I go, as long as the internet is available.
This means that we can write our stories anywhere, we can write podcast scripts anywhere, we can work on homework projects anywhere. And you don't have to have a computer to do this. There are lots of devices that connect to the internet that people can use, even some flash cell phones!
I do lots of work on Google at home as well as at school. My teacher can go on to my Docs and read what I have written as well. She can correct my mistakes by typing in a different colour and make suggestions about what I could do to improve. This means I can work faster and get things finished quicker because next time I go onto my Docs I can see what I need to do next without having to wait until she is free to conference with me and this means I can learn from her even when I don't see her!
We can also work with a partner or in a group on something if we use Google Docs. Writing podcast scripts is a good example of how two people can work together on a script and we don't need to be in the same place.
When we have completed our work on Google Docs, then it is ready to publish for our audience to share. This might be something for television, a podcast, or something for our blog. Or it might even end up in all those places!
The main reasons I like using Google Apps is because:
- I can continue my work at home
- I can correct my mistakes easily
- I think that the teacher can help me more
- I can work faster and finish things off quicker
- When work is finished I can publish it for the whole world to see.
At the moment only some of us have computers at home to work in this way. The Manaiakalani Project is working to give all the students in our area the opportunity to do this. We hope we will soon have fast broadband to all our houses and all our students from Year 5 to 13 will have an internet device of their own. Then we will all be able to continue our learning wherever we are are whenever we want to.
Imagine what we will be able to achieve then! You may need to come back and see....