Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How I Let Google Work for Me

I'm no Google Ninja yet, but I LOVE using Google products at work! 

Most of you know I'm a Twitter superfan, but I'm slowly loving Voxer and Google Hangouts, too. 

Since I love learning from my PLN, I thought I would share how I let technology work for me. As an administrator in a building with over 200 teachers, it can be difficult to get to rooms to talk to teachers personally or arrange meetings were everyone can attend. Also, sometimes I want other staff members to easily access information online. Enter Google!

Here are some ways I use Google:
  • When meeting with a PLC, I send the link for the agenda ahead of time, ask for input, then enter the notes from the meeting in the Google Doc. It makes for easy sharing of information.
  • When we started working on our school-wide Literacy Plan for this year, I sent out a Google Doc with the subgroups listed as well as a list of options for summer meeting dates. I asked teachers to type in YES or NO on the dates to see where we had most consensus. I also asked team members to collaborate on the Google Doc. 
  • To easily collect information about PLC leaders, meeting location, time and day of the week, I sent out a Google spreadsheet to the entire staff and asked teachers to fill in the information for their PLCs. This was an easy way to collect information and quickly see what information was missing from the sheet.
  • I used Google to create our RtI presentation. After creating it, I sent the link to the members of the Problem-Solving Team for their input. Once it's finalized, I can send the link to the staff and it can be easily shared in our school's private LiveBinder.
  • For our Freshmen Transition Program (STEP), I'm able to store the informational flyer online and the link can be easily shared in emails and on websites. 
  • I met with our technology facilitators to map out our first semester of technology professional development opportunities. We used a Google Doc to collaborate, then we shared the plan with the entire staff by sending the link to the document.
  • Our Problem-Solving Team uses a Google Form to collect the data needed for our year-end RtI report.
  • When we have flyers and PDFs of information to be shared with students (such as "When Do I Get My Yearbook Picture Made?") and parents (Open House), I upload the flyer to Google then share the link on Facebook.
  • I used Google Presentations to create a 1-slide "invitation" for this quarter's new teacher "Lunch & Learn." (Topic? Twitter!)
  • Clubs are listed in a Google Doc, and teachers are able to share the link on their Edmodo  pages, Moodle sites, and posted in their rooms. Students are able to access club descriptions via the link. Sign up for clubs are done via a Google Form. Over 83% of our 2,800 students are in clubs, so having the information electronically sorted by classroom & clubs is extremely helpful for our teachers. 
  • Last year, I worked with the teachers in the Fine Arts Department to create a Fine Arts Academy. We used Google Docs to collaborate, then I created a folder where all of the requirements for the different strands can be found. We are able to easily share the link to the folder for interested students to find more information.
  • With the creation of new virtual classes this year, we needed a Virtual Class Agreement. The teachers of the courses, the counselors, and I collaborated via Google to create one that we are using now.
I hope this gives you some ideas on ways to use Google at work. Since I'm still a Google-ninja-in-training, I would love for you to leave your ideas in the comments so I can learn from you!


  1. Once again, great insight! Love your sharing of what is working and what's not. So many of the examples are close to my own, and others, experiences. It's amazing something as simple as a "document" can do some much connecting in the world in which we work.
    Keep inspiring those around you to try new things!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks, Craig. It's a free, simple tool that makes things happen easily and reminds us that technology should work FOR us, not the other way around. We can all use tools that make our jobs more efficient. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. It's amazing all the things that Google does and nothing beats the price! Like you, I use Google as much as possible because it's easy to share and lends itself to collaboration.

    1. It truly is a great way to collaborate and collect information easily. I've learned a lot from you, Reed. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Great post, Jennifer. Isn't it amazing how much Google has impacted our lives for the better? Google makes it easier to collaborate and share ideas with other teachers. Do you really have a Problem Solving Team at your school? That title alone sounds very productive! Thanks for sharing how your school benefits from Google. I love not having to worry about saving!
    I recently joined Voxer, too. I am slowly learning. One of my graduate school professors last year uses Google Hangouts.