Most tech giants (Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, HP…) are racing to contribute to the education domain by providing powerful free, mostly cloud based, tools and resources, for students, teachers, schools, and universities. Most of them believe in education and the vast economic gains the world will reap when students are taught 21st century skills using technology to facilitate instruction and student created content. One of those leading tech giants is of course Google.
Google has entered the education domain years back but has only staunchly and gradually offered more tools and features when they started offering Google Apps for Education free for all educational institutions. Since then, Google has spent a lot of time and effort in developing tools to help students learn, educators facilitate, and schools lead into the 21st century learning paradigm.
Recently, and specifically in the ISTE 2016 convention, Google has updated and created new Google Tools that perhaps most educators are still not aware of. Here they are with no preference:
1. Google Expeditions
Bring your lessons to life with Google Expeditions. Cannot go on a school bus and explore the coral reef? No problem. Google Expeditions let your students immerse in a 3600 of virtual reality. Just imagine exploring coral reefs or the surface of Mars in an afternoon. With Expeditions, teachers can take students on immersive, virtual journeys. Google expeditions was offered for schools that apply for it in a pioneer program, but now it is available for everyone via its Google Expedition App. Teachers can add points of interest for students to explore during their virtual journey. The Google Expeditions can be 3D only with Google Cardboard however. You can also explore Google Expeditions Kits to further enhance student experiences. Teacher can build inquiry-based activities around Google expeditions before, during, and after the lesson. Learn more about Google Expeditions and how to get started here.
2. Science Journal App
The Science Journal app allows you to gather data from the world around you., what we educators call “augmented reality”. It uses sensors to measure your environment, like light and sound, so you can graph your data, record your experiments, and organize your questions and ideas. The key is to help students experiment, recreating the same experiment over and over using the same and variable conditions. Students use the app to record data and interpret results. Science Journal App was developed by Google to help students and teachers delve into their surroundings using inquiry-based approach. Teachers can set up driving questions to help students inquire. The app can be used in a lesson as part of a project based learning unit or as a standalone lesson. Google has also provided a Making with Science website that contains the App, activities, materials (if one wants to connect external hardware), and much more for teachers and students.
3. Google Arts and Culture
Google’s Arts and Culture Institute (There’s an App now) brings the world’s art to your fingertips. Let students discover artworks, collections and stories from all around the world like never before. Students get explore arts in museums around the world in virtual museum trips. Students can zoom in works of art close, real close, that a person with a naked eye present in the museum cannot. This will allow the teacher to guide students into questioning the techniques used for let’s say constructing a paint or unravel hidden icons. Student will have an all-museum view, inside and outside, they will also curate digital arts and exhibitions. In addition to arts, students can historic moments and world wonders. Go to t Google’s Arts and Culture Website to explore more.
4. Google Cast
Although not specifically a generic tool used for education, google cast lets you cast your favorite entertainment and apps from your phone, tablet or laptop right to your TV or speakers.For classroom use, the teacher or student can cast his screen to other tablets or phones using the Google Cast App. Go to Google Cast Website to Find out more.
5. Google Forms Quiz
I have published an earlier post on the new Google Forms Quiz here.