I was lucky enough to be able to present at a GAFE summit in April on using google apps. To be honest and fair I knew about google apps but not really for education. Sure I used youtube for videos, I even used it to flip my classroom but was I fully using all of the capabilities; not even close.
Since starting this just two months ago this is what I have learned:
4) It really opens up the classroom for collaboration and practical formative assessment. For example, I was in an OFIP (in school PD) and I had my kids working on their docs. While in the session I was able to monitor my students work, comment on their progress and give them feedback in real time. Another great example is the ability to share work and comment as we go. Many of my assignments are now on Google Docs. The students can share them with me at any time and I can comment on them at any time. Also, when I finally mark them I attach a Goobric (its a rubric) to them and students have a chance to resubmit. The nice part is the rubric stays with the document and you can attach a brand new one to it. Not only does it allow you this feedback but these rubrics are kept on file for you in your drive.
5) Great programs and amazing storage. This is just a nice bonus but you also get 30Gb of storage which is a far cry from the 8 I get with 365. Google also works with any of our devices, so when I am with the iPads in my literacy centers or on netbooks or chromebooks my students have access to their drive.
6) Reflection and online portfolio: Now that everything is in the cloud, students will have access to their work for their school career (or for me as long as they are in the school). When they leave they can create their own space and transfer these docs to that new account. Now students have a real look at their learning and progress from Kindergarten to whenever they graduate. Talk about reflection and portfolios.
As you can tell I am really impressed with Google for education. If you haven’t checked it out I encourage you to take a look and try it.