7 March 2008
Our question for day 8 was set by Darren Kuropatwa, a Maths teacher in Winnipeg, Canada. Darren asked “Will Google be hiring educators to help develop pedagogically sound practices and models of practice?“
We’re actually working with UK teachers already, in fact they helped us create the lesson plans that are featured on our Google UK school website and which apply to various key stages. Of course if you have suggestions about other practices, or things we can do to improve the schools website as a resource for teachers then please join the discussion group and let us know. You can find the school site here: google.co.uk/schools
6 March 2008
Doug Belshaw asked a question about Google Presentations. Doug teaches History at Ridgewood School in Doncaster.
“What do Google Presentations offer that Slideshare, etc. does not?” – Doug Belshaw
There are lots of great products out there on the web which ultimately means more choice – this can only be a good thing. Our aim with the presentation feature of Google Docs has been to take the functionality that people use most often and turn it into a product that is simple and easy to use. The main benefit is that you can create, edit and share presentations with a number of people simultaneously, which eliminates having to email the document backwards and forwards and losing track of which version you are working to. Equally, the size of some presentation files can be quite big so a simple link to access the document is much easier than trying (and failing) to email around a large file. We launched presentations in Google Docs in response to strong user demand for presentation-sharing but updates and improvements will continue to roll out over the coming months. Again we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our tools and we welcome your feedback.
5 March 2008
Today we have another question from Dave Stacey from Olchfa School.
“Why are there differences between iGoogle and the personalised front page?” – Dave Stacey
The needs of the education sector are slightly different to the needs of the consumer, hence the difference. However the you can personalise tha start page and add tools and gadgets to reflect individual activities and jobs. We’re certainly interested to hear from people about their use of iGoogle and the start page and what they would like incorporating into both.
3 March 2008
It’s the fourth day in our series of Q&A from the Google Education Apps team in the UK. Question 4 was posed by Richard Millwood, Reader in Distributed Learning at the Institute for Educational Cybernetics, University of Bolton.
“Have you considered an option to mark text with a colour background or text colour to show which user contributed? For me, revving up the collaborative aspects of Google Apps is number one – far preferable to trying to match desktop software’s functionality.” – Richard Millwood
“We absolutely agree with you – Google Apps was always devised with collaboration in mind rather than to mimick the functionality of traditional desktop solutions. Our aim is to provide an alternative way of working by focusing on collaboration to help people work together more efficiently and more effectively. We’re constantly working on improving how easy and useful it is for users to interact with documents, spreadsheets and presentations so watch this space….”
29 February 2008
Today’s question came from Dave Stacey, who teaches History at Olchfa School. Dave asked “Are there plans to bring other Google services into the Apps for Education package (notebook would be particularly useful)?”
We get many requests for incorporating useful features into Google Apps. The cloud computing (or software as a service as it’s sometimes called) model allows for frequent and regular updates to our products because changes can be automatically delivered over the Internet. While we can’t give precise details today, we are always adding new features to Google Apps to increase its usefulness and we very much welcome user feedback on what they would like to see.
28 February 2008
The second question we put to the UK Google Education Apps team was suggested by Damian Bariexca, Teacher of English at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Flemington, New Jersey.
Will Google be incorporating Jot wikis into their Google Apps packages anytime soon? – Damian Bariexca
We share JotSpot’s vision for helping people collaborate, share and work together online, and JotSpot’s team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Apps. We think the next great advances in worker productivity will come from better enabling group collaboration — and a lot of that will happen on the Web, so please keep an eye on this space and on us.
27 February 2008
The EdTechRoundUp team were given the opportunity to ask the Google Education Apps team in the UK some questions. We put out a request for questions on twitter and asked people to submit the questions they would like us to put to Google on their behalf. Over the next 15 days, we will publish a question per day together with the response we received from Google.
Our first question was posed by Kristian Still, director of E-Learning at Hamble Community Sports College. Kristian asked,
Do Google anticipate launching a UK Educators program as Google currently organise the US?
Google told us:
You’ll be very pleased to hear we already launched the Google UK Schools site a few months ago and you can find it here: google.co.uk/schools
It’s a great resource for teachers at primary and secondary level and includes lesson plans written by teachers, student activity ideas, a discussion group for teacher, tips for how to use Google tools in the classroom and more. Look forward to hearing your feedback on the site and its resources.