Google has profoundly impacted how we integrate data into our lives, not only with their search engine, but also with their voice-activated personal assistant, Siri, and Maps application, which helps many of us use to make our way to our destinations.
But the tech giant hasn’t stopped at just work and personal life. The company is making strides to improve learning in a fundamental way. And with all the Arizona colleges and the majority of US colleges joining the club in using Google products, we thought about creating a list of our favorites! Here are seven tools from Google that have changed education.
1. Google Scholar
Google Scholar uses its famous search engine function to scour the web for reliable, academic sources. It is of great benefit to students because they no longer have to spend hours in a physical library or searching through the records of their school’s online library.
Using the advanced technology behind Google’s namesake search engine, Scholar can find relevant information to all topics verified to be from sources acceptable in an academic setting. Whether a student searches “What is the average high school counselor salary?” or “What are the implications of machine learning on the Internet of Things?”, Google Scholar has a truly massive pool of resources that are nearly guaranteed to produce valid results.
Then, students can conveniently save their sources in organized folders for revisiting later.
This tool also helps teachers and professors because it has a citation function. This saves them time on correcting the format of citations and allows students to focus on the information at hand.
2. Google Slides
Google Slides is Google’s answer to Microsoft PowerPoint. With its help, students’ presentations are easily stored in the cloud and accessed anywhere, and links to view can even be shared with their teachers.
It has an intuitive interface as well as an auto-save function that keeps forgetful students from losing their work should the power go out, their computer crashes, or meet other technical issues.
There are also many free templates available online and easily imported into Google Slides to help make their presentations beautiful and engaging. That serves to benefit both the student and educators alike by keeping them more interested through carefully organized content. It’s one of the best free tools available on the web.
3. Google Drive
Google Drive is a storage service that provides space to store files for free up to a certain number of gigabytes and is included with each new Google account. Some of the benefits of Google Drive on education is the cloud nature of the service which allows students to access their documents from anywhere, even from their phones.
It also sports an autosave feature to keep them from losing valuable progress, as well as a share feature that can allow them to provide access to their teachers to edit, comment, or view. In addition, it’s an excellent tool for team projects, as it permits collaborative access and real-time updates.
Google Drive includes their own version of many of Microsoft Office’s most common file types such as .doc and .xlsx and can export to each of these.
4. Google Classroom
Google Classroom is among the suite of Google tools but is specifically designed for educators and students in mind.
With it, teachers can communicate with students, provide feedback on their work, create lesson plans, and distribute assignments to their students all from a single, intuitive dashboard. By making the necessary tasks of a class seamless and easy, teachers and students can focus on the most important part of any classroom experience—learning.
5. Google Earth
Especially true for Earth Science and Geography teachers, Google Earth is a tool that helps students visualize our planet. Because it is interactive, the possibilities are practically limitless. Teachers can show the geography of the globe to students in an entertaining setting, explain the relationship between areas when discussing historical events, and, on a collegiate level, discuss politics and various concepts with this learning aid.
6. Google Expeditions
Although funding is lacking for many schools, field trips are proven educational tools for generating success, so much so that it increases grades, graduation rates from high school and college, and even a 12 percent increase in annual income for students, according to the NEA.
Helping to bridge the gap between funding needs and the benefits of field trips is Google Expeditions. It provides teachers with trip “kits” that let their students experience a nearly-endless supply of adventures in virtual reality. Not only can students see places all over the world that budgets or biology (such as would be the case with underwater tours) would have prevented by using virtual reality viewers, but each field trip is filled with information that assists in both teaching and learning.
7. Google Cloud
Google Cloud is used by researchers and professionals all over the world, but Google is extending Education Grants to universities to allow their students to begin their journey into the cloud computing world.
Used predominantly at the college level and beyond, Google Cloud offers a vast array of tools that allow students to analyze data, build applications, and experiment with machine learning, which is a major driver in the growing niche of artificial intelligence. It offers access to innovative technologies that are already beginning to shape the IT world.
Education has come a long way from traditional textbooks and blackboard lessons. There are numerous companies that have joined Google in their efforts to help students and teachers bridge