Google offers a wide variety of helpful (and free) software tools for teachers. With so many different options, we thought it would be helpful to break down the most helpful Google tools for teachers. From creating website, blogs, presentations or hosting an online class, Google offers something for all teachers and for all age ranges.
Google tools and apps for education
As a teacher, you already understand the importance of engaging and effective instruction for your students. The types of learning activities that teachers opt for can have a significant impact on student performance and motivation levels. With advances in technology, there are now more options than ever to help sustain engagement from your students in class.
Google offers an increasing number of helpful tools specifically designed to set up effective learning opportunities for your students – these tools provide unique methods to teach content online with interactive elements such as virtual classrooms and quiz makers. Let’s explore some of the best options for education and the classroom:
- Google Classroom
- Google form quiz
- Google sheets
- Google slides (with Grackle)
- Google Jamboard
- Google Maps
- Google Sites
- Google Earth
- Google Meet
Google Classroom is a comprehensive set of digital tools designed to help teachers give assignments, collect student work and grade papers without the need for paper. It was originally developed with laptops in schools like Chromebooks so that educators and students can easily collaborate on tasks faster than ever before. Its implementation has had an immense impact on learning by allowing students of all ages to access their content from home or in school without any physical restrictions.
With the proliferation of virtual learning, Google Classroom has become an invaluable tool for teachers wanting to capitalize on paperless instruction. It’s a comprehensive suite that includes popular apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Sites in addition to Calendar and Gmail as well as options such as Hangouts or Meet for real-time interaction with students.
How much does Google classroom cost?
Google Classroom is a free-of-charge program that consolidates all the already existing Google tools into one central hub. As an added bonus, it provides extra security for educational institutions; any school wanting to register and add their students must first sign up in order to ensure maximum safety from outside parties.
Google will never scan or use any of your data for advertising, no ads within Google Classroom, or on the entire Google Workspace education platform. So you can be sure that all information shared and used is private.
This is not a learning management solution
If you’re looking for an LMS to host online course material for your students, Google Classroom is not it. It’s a suite of tools with a focus on education. Instead, checkout our free guide on the best online course platforms for teachers.
Google forms for quizzes
Google Forms is a fast and efficient means to take advantage of the form-based system for creating tests, streamlining grading processes, and even more. As it’s all based on cloud technology, distributing anything you design can be as straightforward as sharing a link. You can even collaborate with other teachers and share quizzes with ease.
To get started, sign into Google forms with a free Google account and simply open “Create Form” and select “Blank Quiz” from the available templates. When you create your quiz, give it a title and concise description to clearly communicate the purpose of the quiz. Then choose from multiple answer styles like multiple choice, short answer or paragraph depending on your students.
After adding a question, it’s time to provide relevant answers for each response option below. If desired, you may also assign points to each answer by selecting the “Answer key” beneath the box of options. This way, you’ll be sure that your quiz is both comprehensive and accurately graded.
With this feature, you can not only add answer feedback for correct and incorrect answers, but you can even attach a link or video to provide further context to help with student engagement.
To include a new question, select the plus icon from the bottom of your screen. When you hover over it, it will read “Add Question”. Moreover, you can also import images and videos or questions as necessary. Finally, you can toggle on the “required” option so students must complete each question in order.
Leverage the power of Google Sheets and take your classroom to new a technology level. This cloud-based spreadsheet tool is like a more powerful version of Microsoft Excel, giving teachers the ability to create useful spreadsheets for anything from planning classes, marking student work, organizing resources, and reviewing activities and quizzes . With Google Sheets you can do it all in an easy-to-use platform that streamlines your workflow and helps you stay organized.
With its blank slate, Google Sheets has the potential to bring innovative and creative ways to interact with your class. For example, you can make it as closed or open ended depending on what learning objectives you want to facilitate; if a multiple choice quiz is needed then that’s possible (but we recommend forms for quizzes obviously) but if something totally new needs be made up from scratch than that can happen too with Google Sheets.
Create a gradebook
The wonderful thing about using Sheets to store your gradebook is that you can access it no matter where you are. Google Classroom offers some convenience when tracking grades, yet this method with Sheets grants more flexibility and freedom for creativity. You have the ability to create graphs and charts based on data , both collectively or student-specific so everyone in class has an immediate view of how far each individual has come or has fallen behind.
With the utilization of functions and formulas, Gradebook – a template in Google Sheets- can automate the tedious process of manually calculating grades for you. No longer do you need to tediously work through math equations; grade calculations are now as simple as pressing a button.
Google Slides (with Grackle)
Google Slides is an innovative presentation tool that allows you to create beautiful, well designed presentations. Whether it’s starting out blank or using one of the many predesigned templates, Google Slides is an effective alternative to Power Point from Microsoft.
Once a presentation has been finished, it can be conveniently and securely shared with students through a link. You have the option of keeping access locked, which is great if you want students to view but not modify your work. However, an even more useful feature may be the ability for students to collaborate on projects together.
If you’re looking for convenience and usefulness while teaching online, Google Slides is the way to go. Not only does it provide a browser-based interface that works on almost any device; it also allows you to work offline and then upload your content when you regain internet access. Moreover, its integration with Google Classroom makes it easy to share documents directly with students or use them in presentations during video conferences or classes.
What is Grackle for Google Slides?
Grackle Suite ($25 per user) is the perfect software for schools and districts using Google Slides or the education suite. It provides seamless access to digital files, making them easily accessible not just within the platform and to even those who don’t use G Suite (they can view whatever they are sent). With its three add-ons: Grackle Docs, Grackle Sheets and Grackle Slides that all work with Google, this suite of tools enables users to experience optimum file sharing regardless of their setup.
With Grackle, you can easily detect any potential accessibility issues and quickly find a solution to fix them. The program offers real-time checks while creating or opening documents, plus the ability to export different formats including HTML for web browsers on both computers and smartphones. So no matter what type of document you’re working with, it’s easy to convert into something that everyone in your classroom can access and use.
Google Jamboard is a powerful tool designed for business collaboration but it surprisingly offers teachers and students the ability to collaborate digitally with a whiteboard-style experience, even when they’re not in the same physical space. It’s functionally like having an immense digital whiteboard that any professional teacher can use for virtually any course subject, making it ideal for all types of school environments.
Jamboard was originally developed for business use, but it has become a helpful teaching tool as well. It is convenient to use and you can take advantage of some helpful third-party apps that pair with the platform from Screencastify to EquatIO – allowing you to create dynamic, educational content without having to start from scratch.
By leveraging the Maps feature from Google, students can practice valuable life skills such as navigating by car, on foot, or using public transport to different locations. Moreover, they will have access to the immensely helpful ability to save locations of interest in folders. Teachers are then able to set tasks for their classes wherein students find and share places with each other, making learning more engaging, helpful and practical.
Google Maps offers versatile compatibility, allowing students to use it on their smartphones, school laptops and other devices. The utilization of “street view” is extremely beneficial as well. By enabling students to check out a given area before visiting in person, they can make sure they’re heading towards the right destination with assurance that they’ll remain safe throughout their journey.
Google Sites is an outstanding, free website builder. You can easily construct and publish your own website with this drag and drop page builder. In addition, anyone can even set a custom domain for your Google Site at no additional cost (though you do need to purchase a domain name). This free tool is the perfect go-to tool for teachers who want to teach their students basic web design principles.
It’s also useful for any educator or class that wants to create a website for a club, school sports team or a project page. Google Sites has all the flexibility needed to make any basic website into a reality. Even novice users will find this intuitive design process extremely user friendly and fun.
Similar to Google Sites is the blogger.com platform. The difference is that Google Sites is a drag and drop website builder that is ideal for creating websites with 5-20 pages. The blogger platform is more aimed at blogging and long form writing.
It’s not as customizable in terms of design as Google Sites, but it is better if you wish to teach your students how to correctly blog and write for a website because publishing content on a website like we do here at Teach and GO is nothing like what you’re taught in English class.
With Blogger students can create their own blogs. All that is needed is a Gmail account so make sure your students are old enough to have their own accounts. You can also set a custom domain and edit the HTML of any blogger site if you have the technical skills.
With Google Earth, it’s now easier than ever to explore the planet from anywhere in a way that is both exciting and educational. Zoom seamlessly in any device from outer space down to street view with just one click, you can even check out your very own home. Not only does this allow for an immersive journey around the globe, but also provides students with a clearer understanding of how vast our world really is and how everything fits together on the map.
If you want to experience the ultimate freedom while utilizing Google Earth, then look no further than the I’m “Feeling Lucky” feature. Found on the left-hand side menu as a dice-like image, this tool can take you on an interesting journey of exploration. While Voyager may offer refined navigation capabilities, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature offers something much more adventurous.
Google Meet has quickly become an essential communication tool for many people. It’s free, easy to use and provides high quality video and audio capabilities in group or one on one settings; all for free.
For teachers, Google Meet’s “grid” view is the most useful mode because it displays multiple screens simultaneously, so that everyone in the video chat can be seen all at once. Of course this feature is best suited for larger computer and laptops rather than smartphones. However it helps to create a more unified experience when using these bigger devices.
Teachers using Google Meet now have a beneficial tool to monitor the entire room at once, guaranteeing everyone is present and attentive. Furthermore, it gives teachers an advantageous view of how students as well as the class overall are responding to teaching topics. With this insight, educators can keep tabs on certain pupils while still remaining focused on all learners in the classroom.
Best Google Tools for Classroom Use – Conclusion
Google provides a variety of tools that are incredibly helpful for teachers and classrooms. These tools can help with organization, collaboration, and communication. Google Classroom is a great way to keep students organized and on track with their assignments. Google Meet allows easy communication between teacher and student or between classmates.
Finally, Google Sites and Blogger allow for students to learn how to create an active web presence online through learning basic design principles and content publishing. From using maps or Google Earth, to creating websites or engaging in online teaching, Google provides a wide variety of tools for tech savvy educators.
David UnwinHi, I'm David Unwin. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more about me.
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