With thousands of educational apps for schools to choose from, sometimes picking the right ones can be overwhelming and even a deterrent to using technology in the classroom.
Many teachers and administrators wonder if a certain app or tool would work best for a specific project, or if it’s safe to use at all. But what if the majority of tools needed to safely explore and use technology with students were all in one place? That’s a question one teacher in Detroit Public Schools asked this past March and found the answer: Gaggle!
One of the largest school districts in the country, Detroit Public Schools started using Gaggle in 2012 for safe student email and teaching and learning tools. Andrew Clark, a third through fifth grade technology teacher at Bennett Elementary, learned about Gaggle after the district upgraded his computer lab and set Gaggle as the default homepage. Soon after, Andrew had a conversation with a colleague, and quickly realized that Gaggle had the tools needed for his classroom to thrive, all in one place.
“Prior to Gaggle, I was using a blog app as a primary means to deliver my instruction to students. I would integrate my voice and other features using a variety of free web applications,” he said. “I also used Google Drive to push out videos and assessments to my students by embedding them in the blog.”
Andrew’s classroom now uses Gaggle for a variety of projects and resources. Most recently, he began using Gaggle for a group science project. “The Assignments drop box is a great tool. It allows me to check students’ assignments at my leisure and give them immediate feedback without overwhelming my inbox,” he said. Andrew is also utilizing the Digital Locker for the same project so students can save their projects after each class for easy access the next time they come into the computer lab.