I recently came across the Google in Education web site. I started off being a bit skeptical about an education site from Google. Are they using educators to help set up the page? Will they include lessons on appropriate use? Will the site be of use for teachers, parents and students?
So, I explored, and here are some of the things I found:
Google in Education Report: The document font is too small for me to read comfortably on my laptop, but I will download it to read later on (when I can enlarge the font). It looks like an interesting read.
Google Family Safety Center: The first page has some good tips for home computer use and things to teach children. I like the first one – Keep computers in a central place. I think this can now apply to children’s smart phones or iPod Touches. If the device can be used to communicate with others, I think having them in bedrooms can be problematic for some. Students in grades 4 and 5 report getting text messages after 11:00 pm from friends.
Lesson Plans: This site has some lesson plans that can be searched by category, subject or age. I looked at a few lesson plans, and on one (Story Buddies) I was pleased to see an evaluation rubric included at the bottom of the page. Rubrics are an excellent tool for evaluating a person’s work, and to provide some guidance about what the expectations are for the assignment.
Google for Students: This section seems to be aimed at students who are older than the children at Cleveland. If you have older students, this page may be of more interest to them.
I am less skeptical about this site now. It seems to have some good ideas.
I don’t know if this site will be of use to families, but try it. I think the sits still has room for improvement, and perhaps they are working on it. I would like to see some more for students about using cell phones and texting appropriately. Perhaps include some cautionary stories from teens who have experienced the down side of using mobile devices.