G Suite for Education
G Suite for Education (formerly called Google Apps for Education) has created a lot of buzz within the education community, and understandably so. Like Microsoft's Office 365, Google offers G Suite at no charge to the education community.
If you own an Android smart phone, there's a good chance you're already using Google to manage your calendar and contact list.
Google Docs in Plain English
Google Docs may not have all the features of other office suits, but does allow easy collaboration & sharing. This easy-to-follow video explains how that works and why that is such a great advantage.
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An introduction and links to the software, solutions, training, support, and other resources offered by Google.
Shares teacher's experiences using Google Docs. An example, "I am having students use Google Documents to write their assignments and then share the document with me. I can grade them at school or at home and can type my comments right into their document."
A slide show listing interesting ways and tips for using Google Forms in the classroom. Compiled by Tom Barrett.
google docs 101
Josh Stumpenhorst, self described disruptor and 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year, has put together a getting started video, answering a lot of questions educators may have about using Google Docs, including the ad hoc, fill-in forms capability.
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A list of commonly asked questions about G Suite for Education as compiled by Google. Covers topics including costs, security, getting started, and deployment.
There are a number of free and paid educator support add-ons. One that's been highly rated is Hapara for G Suite. It provides an instructional management layer on top of G Suite, giving educators a snap-shot view of student activity and the ability to create differentiated assignments and projects for groups or individual students. Not free, but may be worth the small investment in time saved & additional visibility.
Sometimes the best way to get started is to "just try something". Maybe a small collaborative project or a sign-up sheet. As the cost is free, you can experiment without a large commitment of time or money. If you run into questions, there is a multitude of help sites, forums, resources & videos on the Internet.