Education of Tomorrow, Today
Engaging students and educators in Australia with Google’s tools and search education programmes.
It is a well-known fact that Google is the main and, by far, most popular search engine online, delivering reliable, incredibly fast and precise results upon every search. However, with its constant expansion onto many other aspects of life which connect the digital with the physical, Google never fails to amaze us. After creating one of the most versatile and reliable email clients, a social network which is likely to present a serious competition to Facebook and an operative system that has become a standard for smartphones, Google developers have now directed their work towards education as well, in desire to raise the level of consciousness regarding the importance of information research in learning.
As far as the Google in Education project is concerned, it offers many types of useful materials and information, both for teachers and for students.
Once teachers, for example, visit www.google.com/edu/teachers, they open a portal of applications and materials, ranging from classroom tools, over the materials for professional development, all the way to items which are directed towards motivating students towards integrating their own work with adequate Internet searching.
The classroom apps offer many programs which can be used online or within some other Google products like the Chrome web browser, for example. Recently, Google has launched its free cloud storage service called Google Drive, where any type of work can be stored. This is an excellent tool for schools, teachers and students together, since it grants free online space (5GB initially) where various types of files can be stored, accessed and synchronized with PCs, smartphones, tablets etc. Storing digital projects in such a way makes it easy for students and teachers to share information, edit various types of work and rest assured that such work will be saved safe and easily accessible. Gone are the days of cluttered email draft folders and similar improvised file sharing processes. Today, education can take great advantage of cloud services such as this one and more and more teachers are aware of this.
Furthermore, this section contains educator resources, which are basically more tools for browser integration and usage of online data hand-in-hand with studying and teaching. This presents a real treasure chest of materials divided into categories, from special forms of searches, filtered for educational purposes, over the focus on exploring, sharing and computer science, all the way to tutorials, lessons and online applications. It even contains articles on digital literacy, which is a must-read type of documentation for all who desire to enhance the way the use the Web.
Now, after taking into consideration some of the most advanced online applications that Google launches and supports, it is easy to realize that it has created an environment which transfers the whole notion of computing entirely online. Logically, this lead to the creation of yet another great educational breakthrough – the chromebook. Chromebooks are extremely user-friendly laptops which are fast, reliable and simple, helping students and teachers create a productive classroom environment, enabling even students who have problems with using different forms of language an easy way to overcome this obstacle.
Additionally, Google hosts numerous webinars which are held through its excellent online conferencing service Google+ Hangouts. This is a truly remarkable feature of online collaboration, bridging the gaps between educational systems in different cultures and countries, promoting cooperation, sharing and mutual influences, all for the sake of advancement. Simply, it integrates all the previously mentioned tools and applications found online, utilizing them in a real-time environment.
Finally, the part of Google in Education directed towards students contains many projects and files previously created by other students, available for use and download. Furthermore, it connects students with various competitions they can take part in, getting involved in programs and projects which trigger their own educational progression, fostering development, creativity and, often, team work, among many other qualities.
All in all, Google became a mosaic consisting of many different pieces. When matched and combined together through education and interactive classrooms, it can take learning and teaching onto a whole new level, triggering a knowledge evolution both our children and our education systems deserve.