google apps for education (gafe): giving students an elearning space

Download Google Apps for Education (GAFE): Giving Students an eLearning Space

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This presentation covers the use of Google Applications for Education (GAFE) to support student centered eLearning. Particular reference is made to collaborative learning, learning portfolios and personal learning networks.


  • 1. Dr Iain Doherty Director, eLearning Pedagogical Support Unit Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning 30th July 2013 The University of Hong Kong

2. What Does Moodle Offer? What is Google Apps For Education (GAFE)? What Can Individual Teachers Do with Google Applications? Part One What Can Individual Teachers Do with Google Applications? Part Two What Are The Potential Downsides? 3. Moodle can be thought of pretty much as a teacher- centric environment. Where is the student in all of this? 4. To be fair to Moodle, students can and do have a presence: Discussion forums Wiki exercises Database activities Blogs Poll Survey 5. However, what happens when we think of students authoring content and / or maintaining a portfolio of their learning? Moodle does not do so well here and we need to look to alternatives to provide students with an environment in which they can be authors and architects of their own learning. 6. Google Apps For Education (GAFE) is an enterprise level software solution for cloud based collaborative teaching and learning. Applications include but are not limited to Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Sites, Gmail and Calendar. Many more applications in the Google Market Place. 7. An educational institution signs up with Google Apps for Education and is issued with a unique domain name. Signing up is easy and Google Apps For Education is free. The institution then has administrative control over the domain. 8. The dashboard provides the administrator with control over e.g. analytics, appearance, access (or not) to the various Google Apps. GAFE is controlled from an administrative dashboard. However, security etc. is the responsibility of Google and they spend a lot more money on security than any higher education institution. 9. Theres more . . . Google are committed to a future of cloud based computing. Google Apps are available on any device, anywhere, anytime. This means that the users content is always accessible. Finally, collaboration can occur on any device, anywhere, anytime. 10. The world [students] encounter in higher education . . . is hierarchical, substantially introvert, guarded, careful, precise and measured . . . [Students] arent demanding different approaches; rather they are making such adaptations as are necessary for the time it takes to gain their qualifications. Effectively, they are managing a disjuncture, and the situation is feeding the natural inertia of any established system. It is, however, unlikely to be sustainable in the long term (JISC, 2009). 11. Google Apps facilitates student centered collaborative learning in a cloud based environment rich with possibilities. We can help to prepare our students for their place in the 21st Century workforce. This is 21st Century learning and the future is now. 12. We want our students to be active learners engaging at a deep level with course content, with one another and with the teacher. Google Apps are not necessary for this deep engagement can occur face to face but Google Apps facilitate collaborative learning activities. Google Apps also present different possibilities e.g. media rich interactive presentations. 13. Google Apps For Education Google Drive Google Docs Nickys presentation 14. The portfolio can include both their learning and their reflections on their learning Students can maintain a portfolio of their learning The portfolio can provide evidence of achievement for employability (Konsky, 2012) The portfolio can provide the foundation for life long learning The world of education may be changing with e.g. MOOC Certificates becoming evidence of achievement Coursera edX Badges as evidence of learning Mozilla Badges Envision a future where the personal portfolio is of paramount importance for employment 15. Google Apps For Education A Portfolio Nickys presentation 16. Following on from the idea that the way that knowledge is produced, circulated and consumed has changed radically, GAFE can function as a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). A Personal Learning Environment is a visual representation of the environment in which the learner learns formal and informal. 17. In the last five years, the twin concepts of the personal learning environment (PLE) and personal learning network (PLN) have been offered as alternatives to more traditional environments such as the learning management system (LMS) and institutionally-based courses. During that time, a substantial body of research has been produced by thinkers, technologists and practitioners in the field. Dozens of studies, reviews, conference presentations, concept papers and diagrams are now available. PLENK 2010 18. Being aware of the learning environment that encourages and motivates you the most to study and increase your own knowledge is not always a matter of course. Finding the best possible learning environment, tools and strategies to get your learning process in to a higher level may take a lot of time and effort, but once you have found your own, learning can give you much more of itself. My Personal Learning Environment 19. When our staff and students could all enjoy a centralized platform to participate in e- learning, we heard students at other institutions complained about logging into different systems for different courses. The one and only controlled environment gained popularity - adoption rate leaped from 45% to 69% of all courses between 2004 and 2006. On the other hand, the world wide web (www) continues to evolve, so does the e-learning environment of a CityU student. eLearning Environment of a CityU Student (Learning Beyond Blackboard) 20. Google Apps For Education A Personal Learning Environment Nickys presentation 21. You can make use of Google Apps if you have a Google Account. Google runs a site to keep users informed about Google Apps. There are other options but Google Apps provides a one stop shop for cloud based collaborative learning. 22. There will be concerns over data privacy even though Google have a clear privacy policy. There will be concerns over ownership of data but Google are clear that users own the data. Security will be an issue but Google can spend more on security than just about any organization in the world. 23. Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience. (2009). Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World. Bristol: Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience. Joint Information Systems Committee. (2009). Effective Assessment in a Digital Age: A Guide to Technology Enhanced Assessment and Feedback. Retrieved from mmes/elearning/digiassass_eada.pdf 24. Joint Information Systems Committee. (2008). Effective Practice in a Digital Age: A Guide to Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching. Joint Information Systems Committee. Retrieved from ectivepracticedigitalage.aspx Konsky, B. R. Von, & Oliver, B. (2012). The iPortfolio: Measuring Uptake and Effective Use of an Institutional Electronic Portfolio in Higher Education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(1), 6790. Retrieved from ky.pdf