TCC08: Instructional Uses of Google Apps

Collaborative Web 2.0 Tools Changing the Face of Higher Education: Instructional Uses of Google Apps

Laura C. Brewer, Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, AZ, USA
Zeynep Kilic, ASU, Tempe, AZ, USA
Samuel DiGangi, ASU, Tempe, AZ, USA
Angel Jannasch-Pennell, ASU, Tempe, AZ

Missed the first part of the session due to a phone call

Web 2.0 in Education

People are producers rather than just consumers of content

Students in the Web 2.0 World

  • Net Generation
  • Digital Natives
  • TV, Internet, video games over magazines, books, newspapers

Net Gen Students

  • Don’t make blanket assumptions–there is diversity
  • They are not always as tech savvy as we might think
  • Ubiquitous technology for entertainment and communication, not necessarily for learning

Faculty in Web 2.0 World

  • Rapid changes in technology –> changing expectations of teaching roles
  • Shift to learner-centered paradigm
  • Shift in balance of power
  • Do faculty see educational value in technologies?

Google Apps

  • Free for standard edition
  • Education version has some premier features too

Google Docs & Spreadsheets: Pros

  • No geographical or time constraints
  • Any number of collaborators
  • Can be published or private
  • Import from other file types
  • Export in multiple formats
  • Automatic backup
  • Extensive revision history
  • Single sign-on is easier for students

Google Docs & Spreadsheets: Cons

  • Output layout is hard to control. Html code is not clean
  • Bibliographies, citations require extensive reformatting
  • No support for offline editing with later merging of these versions
  • Menus and tools not consistent across applications
  • Institutional concerns
  • Privacy

Ed Tech people are excited, but are faculty really using these tools?

Faculty Surveys

60% never use Google Docs; 20% use at least once a week

Those that do use it, use it more for research than for instructional or personal use.

Many faculty who use other Web 2.0 apps don’t use Google Docs, but it’s growing

Found it most valuable for research (70% valuable, 17& somewhat)

How instructors use it (all low percentages)

  • Creating own materials: 10%
  • Students use for required assignment: 7%
  • Students use for optional assignment: 4%

Many more faculty say it’s valuable than actually use the tools

They don’t have enough data yet to develop pedagogy/best practices for using the tools for instructional purposes. Want to do additional research.

Question came up in chat about Section 11 of Google’s TOS. This answer talks about content ownership.

Google says: “The first thing to understand is that this language doesn’t give Google ownership rights to your data. You, and you alone, own your content.”

Examples of Use

  • Some students use Google Docs in combination with other tools to collaborate for group projects
  • Course development (like how we use it)

Read the other liveblogged posts from this conference.

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4 thoughts on “TCC08: Instructional Uses of Google Apps

  1. Hello Cristy interesting post and good to see you are an advocate of Google Apps for Education! We have extended things further and created an LMS in Google Apps called ‘CourseDirector’. It tightly integrates with Apps, 
creating courses using ‘sites’, class discussions using ‘groups’ and also 
leverages ‘docs’ heavily. I’d be very keen to get your feedback and the Apps 
marketplace listing is below:

  2. Christy – sooo cool you are doing this for those of us who can’t be in both places at one (or either place at all).

    BTW – not ALL of the cool kids are at eLearning Guild. We’ll meet up sometime :’)
    – Wendy

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