Google Apps for Education

What is Google Apps for Education?

  • It’s a free suite of tools including Classroom, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and more.  These productivity tools have a familiar feel and additional Google functionality. Students particularly benefit from the Search tool within Document and the Citation feature.

  • It’s used in education both worldwide and here in southwest Missouri (click for case studies)

Can my student work on their GAFE documents and projects from home?

  • Yes!  With an Internet connection and their NCA log in, students can access their Drive from anywhere!

How does GAFE differ from my personal Gmail account?

  • GAFE is unique to education.  It is a “closed” suite of tools, hosted in the cloud, yet monitored and maintained locally.

  • As it is entirely separate from an “outside” account, GAFE provides a safe way for students and teachers to collaborate and share.

Does or will my student have a Gmail account?

  • Currently, students 3rd-12th grades have Gmail accounts, but their “privileges” differ.  Only high school students can email outside the district to allow them to communicate with prospective colleges.

Bring IT-BYOD **This program is for students in grades 5-12.

Chromebook, laptop, tablet or smartphone?

No single device is the “perfect” solution to the educational needs of students today.  So, here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Students will be producing, creating documents, presentations, etc., so the device must have input capability. In order to use tablets or smartphones effectively, the device must be capable of typing, using a cursor and moving objects on the interface.

  • In order to maximize educational time, boot up speed is important.

  • Ease of use.  Students need to be comfortable with the device and able to solve common issues.

  • Battery life is important.  The school has limited electrical outlets and accessibility cannot be guaranteed. Participation in the Bring IT-BYOD program implies that the device will be brought to school every day, fully charged and ready to use.

The recommended device for BYOD is a Chromebook
So why do you recommend a Chromebook?  

  • Chromebooks are student-friendly netbooks which work well with Google Apps for Education.   
  • Chromebooks run the Chrome OS, which auto-updates and needs no virus protection

  • Chromebooks boot quickly and are ready to work in seconds

  • Chromebooks connect easily to available networks

  • Most have a battery life of 6-8 hours

  • All Chromebooks, no matter the brand or specs, are suitable for education

  • Inexpensive Chromebooks function as well as more expensive models

  • Chromebook overview from PC Magazine: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413071,00.asp 

What are the advantages of a laptop?

  • If your student is in High School or looking toward a technology related career such as networking, graphic design, video production or web design, a laptop might be the device of choice.

  • At NCA some courses use Microsoft Office products.  While these courses have access to the Computer Lab, a laptop with Microsoft Office would enable students to work at home.

  • While specialized software is used in industry, Microsoft Office is currently the common standard for high level document formatting, complicated spreadsheet applications and presentations.  

  • Students can access and use Google Apps from an Internet enabled laptop

  • Windows or Mac based computers support high level creativity software suites such as Adobe products

What about a tablet or smartphone?

  • The key here, is input ability.  Since students will be creating, keyboards and mice are essential.

  • While Google Apps are functional on iPads and most tablets, the interface looks different, making it more difficult for the teacher to give technology instructions.

Have more questions? Feel free to email tpierce@newcovenant.net