Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Guest Author
on July 5, 2017

A weird question to ask, right? Since the word “hacking” brings to light a negative connotation. For one moment though, I want you to put a positive spin on the word “hacking” particularly as it relates to K-12 education and Google for Education, or G Suite.

Think back to your time as a student, teacher, or administrator and the unique ways you problem-solved or made learning fun with the available resources you had at your disposal. Now think about the impact technology has on classrooms, schools, districts, and organizations.

Communication and collaboration can now be done with a few clicks of the mouse or taps of the screen. For example, G Suite for Education, provides students with an opportunity to connect and collaborate virtually in real time on documents and presentations. In essence, students and teachers, are hacking while learning and teaching. They are constantly trying to find new ways to make sense of the topic at hand and present material in an appealing way.

Consider teacher-to-student feedback. Gone are the days when students hand in an assignment and if they are lucky receive a grade three weeks later. The comment feature on Google Docs give teachers the ability to provide feedback as their students are working on an assignment.

Our new book, Hacking Google for Education: 99 Ways to Leverage Google Tools in Classrooms, Schools, and Districts gives all school stakeholders various “hacks” to make Google tools work for them.

Are you a classroom teacher? Ever consider providing students with various options to show what they know about the topic at hand? Let them create and maintain a Google Site that acts as a digital portfolio of sorts.

How about a building-level administrator? Start a YouTube channel to archive student work, school events or tutorials for all stakeholders to enjoy. These “hacks” and so many more are featured in our book. Answer these questions to find the right hack for your next educational experience.

  1. What am I trying to accomplish?
  2. How will it benefit stakeholders?
  3. What Google app, extension, or add-on will address my need?

Brad Currie, Billy Krakower and Scott Rocco are the founding partners of Evolving Educators LLC and the co-authors of Hacking Google For Education: 99 Ways to Leverage Google Tools in Classrooms, Schools, and Districts. They offer Google training for schools and districts throughout the United States and abroad. Follow the Evolving Educators on Twitter @EvolvingED.

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