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Yes, I Know More Than Google

By Kip Glazer
 | Jun 22, 2016

google bookmarkDuring my 12 years as a classroom teacher, I received many gifts from my students. One of the greatest gifts came from a brother of a student I had. He gave me a silver bookmark that said, “Mrs. Glazer. You know more than Google.”

Because I am an instructional technology coach for the largest high school district in the state of California, I have the pleasure of working with many teachers and school personnel at over 25 different school sites and programs. While I espouse the virtue of using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) with their students or the next and greatest instructional technology tools, many of my colleagues often ask me how I see the future of technology in schools. I always answer, “Unless a machine can raise our children by giving better hugs and kisses, this society will always need teachers.”

It is true that many people learn new things from YouTube. For instance, I taught myself how to use Google for my class by—ironically—Googling and watching YouTube videos. I didn’t need to take a single course from Google Training Center. I also subscribe to BetterCloud Monitor, formerly “Dylan the Gooru,” to learn how to leverage the newest updates from Google.

However, what many who believe that machines can replace teachers forget is that learning has never really been about simple information acquisition. Learning is identity development that happens as we learn more facts. I firmly believe that understanding that fact and fully embracing it are critical in building the better schools. If anyone can learn how to use GAFE, why does my district employee me?

Because I do know more than Google. Yes, I said it. How, you ask? Because I can synthesize facts Google provides to tell a story that makes sense to my students. I can also interpret and respond to students’ questions to scaffold their learning beyond delivering facts quicker. Finally, I can point out what’s missing in their factual understanding to help them find patterns not so apparent in the sea of information so my students won’t get lost. For example, during my technology training, I first describe what a tool can do.

Let’s take my Google Drive training, for example. I typically begin my training with how to leverage Google Drive and all the functionalities native to it. I talk about the differences between extensions and add-ons. I explain why and how to share documents within our GAFE domain and outside. I help my staff understand how to look for things under Waffle (), Pancakes (), Wheel, also known as the gear (), Traffic Light (), and the Shark Tooth (). I also explain what the information icon () does. After my students understand where to find the necessary information, I quickly move to how it can be used for a subject a teacher teaches or a job task that school personnel does. For teachers using Google Classroom, I explain the reason to link a Google Drive folder using the “About” tab in Google Classroom to manage all documents efficiently. Whenever I can, I talk about how a combination of tools can improve productivity in a specific school ecosystem, which is as diverse as any ecosystem in existence! I have set up a Google Site dedicated to managing a school’s facilities process, which uses Google Calendar, Google Forms, Google Sheets, Google Drive, and Google Docs. I used Autocrat to streamline the process for a school because I took the time to listen to the staff members’ concerns about an inefficient facility request process.

You might ask, “Are you telling me to use Google apps for everything?” To that, I would answer, “Absolutely not!” What I am saying is that teachers can help our students learn the most important skill in the knowledge economy: Learning to use a right tool for the right job regardless of what that is. Because I know this, I let tools like Google take care of all the “whats” while I focus on how and why.

Before jumping into the Voice typing function in Google Doc, I often explain how to leverage Google Scholar to search for the content to include in the document that my students are creating. Before introducing Slides Carnival as a place for getting cool Google Slides templates or showing Prezi to create different types of presentation, I encouraged my students to create visual presentations that include more pictures and less text.

Yes. I do know more than Google when it comes to teaching my students. I’d better!

Kip Glazer is a native of Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States in 1993 as a college student. She holds California Single Subject Teaching Credentials in Social Studies, English, Health, Foundational Mathematics, and School Administration. In 2014, she was named the Kern County Teacher of the Year. She earned her doctorate of education in learning technologies at Pepperdine University in October 2015. She has presented and keynoted at many state and national conferences on game-based learning and educational technologies. She has also consulted for Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning and the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Program.

Glazer will present “Games as the New Literacy Texts” at the Age of Literacy Lounge at ILA Central 1:30 PM–2:00 PM Saturday, July 9 at the ILA 2016 Conference & Exhibits in Boston. Visit ilaconference.org for more information or to register.

 

6 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Paola | Jan 22, 2018

    Hi Glazer,

    I would like to introduce you Slidespower.com a website with a large number of templates for Google Slides, totally free and specially designed to be used by students in their school work. I hope you find it interesting.

    Thank you,

    Paola

  2. Danny Bryan | Sep 16, 2017
    Good job.
  3. Hobbs Fie | Jul 07, 2017
    nice
  4. Taylor Shaw | Jun 12, 2017
    Teachers get very less time know and understand children individually instead they just complete the studies and leave. When education became more a business, these are the drawbacks which come with it. It does not make your children home at schools. These kinds of education never leave any good relation with a teacher and student.  Manufactured Home
  5. si.com | Feb 16, 2017
    Do share some more. I love these kind of contents. Really kills my boredom.  si.com
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    download Animania app to get all anime movies and TV Shows for free.

    Leave a comment

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