Land of Google Confusion – Four Apps to Do One Thing Great??!!

I’m honestly ok with updates in general – new updated phone, apps, new OS/iOS updates, etc.;  although relatively frequent – necessary.  Even most Google updates are needed…  until now.    The introduction of separate document areas (Docs, Slides, and Sheets) on the web and now essentially FOUR separate apps on the iPad – it has caused a bit of a stir and staff and students alike are clamoring “what do I use and WHEN??”)

drive_icon                 Sheets_icon                  Docs_icon                   slides_icon

My Two Cents:

Here is my unofficial letter to Google, I need to vent, as this takes much time out of my duties, and student classroom time.

Our district ❤ s Google Drive.  I have had the good fortune of training staff on its use and integration for over 2 years.  It has great features and always great possibility. Google Drive on our smartphones, tablets, and computers has changed the face of staff productivity in my school district.  But now…. I’m not sure why anyone thought that separating Google services into separate apps was a good idea. 

For educators (I’ll include myself to add iPad point-person too), iPads were ready to go Day One – student apps, including Google Drive.  Drive, once the end all of creation and collaboration, is now the app that can only VIEW docs, slides and sheets (and not edit) UNLESS you have the respective app installed – students (c’mon Google, we have 7 year olds using GAFE, really??)  have to login multiple times, and teachers now have to learn (as did I) new lingo that “incoming” is analogous to “shared with me”.  Sure I like to have my doc types filtered, but I could always do that by just using Google Drive when I needed to, not because Google forces me to – I’m ALWAYS using the search feature for doc types in my Drive and they are NEVER the same type; four apps is just CONFUSING (Just when I thought my Google PD sessions were over 😦  )

Login Management is the New Classroom Management

(Wait a minute, let me switch apps…)

Also, we currently have an iPad cart model in our elementary buildings – These are shared.  students now have multiple points of login – once with Drive, and most times another point when accessing a doc, slide, or sheet (the Drive app will open another respective app for editing). Logging out of services is now a management piece, it has become a bigger issue with multiple services logged in just to edit a document.  Let’s not even go there – making sure all students logout of services before the cart gets wheeled to the next classroom…

Please Google, give people the freedom to search for the type of doc, slide, and sheet they want – in ONE app!



Holy Terabytes, Batman!!

While using Google Drive on my MBP, I noticed something incredible.  We have a Google Apps for Education Domain – and it looks like Google is making it rain, Terabytes, that is!  Ten to be exact.

Just to be sure, I logged into my “normal” Gmail account – no Terabytes there – a pretty generous 15GB for free though.

Get in with GAFE, people – your district infrastructure will thank you!


Google Hangouts

We recently enabled Google Hangouts on our GAFE domain.  Staff are super-excited about the implications – virtual field trips, including a homebound classmate, talking to “live” experts, the list will definitely go on.

I found this helpful article from Google+ Guru, Martin Shervington:

Complete with screenshots and coupled with our district’s KB article, our teachers will be well equipped to broadcast on their own.