Where do I start with eLearning?

Doesn't eLearning cost a lot of money? Don't you have to be really tech-savvy?

In my opinion, one of the best places to start with eLearning at your school is to make use of the FREE suite of online software tools called Google Apps. Google Apps include Google Docs (an online office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, and presentation program), Google Sites (a website creation tool), Google Calendar (a great way to keep track of, or even schedule, homework assignments and school events), and GMail (Google's cool, online email service). You can further expand its educational usefulness by also making use of Google Talk (similar to MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and Skype), and Blogspot (the popular free blog platform owned by Google) - all of theses services are offered FREE! I think the price is right . . . Laughing

The easiest way to try it out is to register for a free email account with Google. You immediately get access to Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and Blogspot, and you can download Google Talk for free.

Why Google Apps?

Here is a video that explains the usefulness of Google Docs in education:

I like the fact that Google Apps is such a great collaboration tool. Our students today learn best when they are collaborating. One thing I have to say about online collaboration is that it takes some commitment to educate your students on the difference between collaboration and plagiarism. However this is a great lesson for our students, and the ability to collaborate is an important skill to have as they enter the marketplace.

How do I get this for my school?

If you like what you are seeing and your school owns a domain name, your IT manager can set Google Apps up for your school. Give them this link: http://www.google.com/apps/. What this means is that Google will host all of your school's email accounts for FREE (if you are an educational institution), and you get free access to the whole suite of Google software. You can decide whether students' online efforts are visible only inside your domain (like having these tools installed on an intranet), or visible to the public.

If you don't have an IT manager, or a domain name, or you run a homeschool, and you need some help to set this up, please email me by sending a message to bblomonline 'AT' gmail 'DOT' com (replace 'AT' with @ and 'DOT' with . and don't leave any spaces anywhere - this weird format holds spammers at bay).

So, are you ready to take some steps into eLearning? For His glory!

Ps. I don't get a cut from Google . . . I just think it is cool . . . Cool

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