Google Apps it’s more then just Google Docs with a catchy slogan. It’s real power is in the App Marketplace. There are 90 apps just listed under the EDU category alone and most of them are free. Just click on the App Marketplace link or search google for App Marketplace and you will get to the store front.
On that page you will find the listing of apps. Each app comes with a description, the price, a rating, and several icons. The icons tell the user which native Google Drive apps are able to be linked with the particular app. For example one app is called Engrade it links directly to google calendar and google docs. Engrade is a free web based grade book and lesson planner.
The beauty of google apps is that many of the apps you already use could be listed as a google app. This means the apps can link right to your Google Drive account. In fact last weeks Techformation on Easybib is a great example. This is a google app and links to the single sign on and the universal navigation. Universal Navigation apps are apps that integrate with the universal navigation bar and are listed on the more menu in Google Apps. This means you and your students don’t need several URL’s to memorize. One login to Google and it is all right there for them. (Did I mention this is all free!) Single sign on is the ability to just sign into google accounts and not have to sign into anything else. This requires a bit of work to set up but your schools network administrator should be able to do it. These two together make your Google account a dashboard of Web 2.0 apps.
If your school has not yet signed up for Google apps for Education then
>>> WHY NOT ! <<<<
It is free and takes about 10 min to set up. It comes with the added advantage of a school email account for all your students. Pester you network admin to do that and if you don’t have a network admin ask your principal to let you set it up. Or just set up your own Virtual school. They will sell you a domain name for $8 mrmclaughlin.tv is the one I bought, but this takes about two weeks to verify that you are some kind of education institution. Google provides tons of support to do this. (or you could just contact me and I would be happy to help)
So here is a list of some of my favorite Google apps (comment and let me know yours):
Aviary - Free design tools and templates to create, modify and share images, presentations, audio tracks, podcasts & more. Classrooms can collaborate on multimedia projects. Works directly in Google Docs.
Gooru - is a search engine for learning. Discover millions of standards-aligned STEM resources, including videos, games, textbooks and quizzes, for 5th-12th grade topics.
iRubric - is an interactive assessment system enabling teachers to save time on building and sharing rubrics. Optional upgrade allows quick scoring and automatic entry into RCampus Gradebook.
Grockit - is a social platform for learning that provides students with collaborative real-time study rooms and content aligned to K 7-12 curriculum and college entrance exams.
DreamBox – yes no more elusive URLs for DreamBox - With DreamBox Learning Connect, a free Google AppsTM tool, teachers don’t need to input individual passwords, streamlining logins for DreamBox Learning K-3 Math, an online adaptive learning program
Backchannel Chat for Google Apps - A realtime discussion tool with powerful moderation features that have been designed for educators. Easily bring your Google apps students into our discussion tool and have safe secured discussions.
Docs Detective - Plagiarism Detection service for Google Docs, Compare document with millions of documents, Makes reviewing results quick and easy, Great for schools that use Google Docs
Teacher Dashboard for Google Apps - Teacher Dashboard gives you a bird’s-eye view of class activity across Docs, Sites, Blogger, Picasa & Gmail, and greatly simplifies setup and maintenance of your class Google Apps environment.