To begin again…
August is coming and teachers are starting to think of the coming year. Students are trying to avoid thinking at all. I know have mentioned this before but I think it needs to be restated. Google, you may have heard of it, is really useful. I recommend trying some of the other free services that Google has to offer. Now I am going to use a teacher slant with this but it could be used for any possible business or project. First off register for a Google service because once you do you will have access to all the rest of the services right away. It is free and quick. Gmail is just the tip of the Googleverse. Gmail is their version of email. One of the reasons I recommend using it is that it is searchable just like Google. This means if a student emails you during the year you can find it fairly easily. Also it does have other abilities like IM (chatting with students built directly into it) or the ability to take all emails from a specific conversation and creating a dialogue out of them instead of scattered emails through out the system. Google calendar allows for sharing of schedules and appointments throughout a group or organization. Also these can be saved to a website to make it viewable to all without registering. Google Docs and Sites are the two most underused by teachers. These together are so easy to use and useful it is unbelievable. Docs is an online Microsoft Office like set of tools. All you do is sign in and you have something that looks like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This alone is good but once you think of the ability to share it between others it makes it supreme. It can be viewed or editable by others at the touch of a button. Finally Google Sites is the culmination of all of these. It is creatable webpage that you can use to communicate info with groups of all sorts. As an example lets say a teacher has a book group. They can post all the info about the book they are going to read and then add photos and music from where the book is set. The great thing is that it requires no real HTML ability. If you can use Microsoft Word then you can easily use Sites. Now I know I am being very general about this post but that is what it is supposed to be. I recommend checking all the sites above and see if they fit a use. Give it a try.
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