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G Suite for Education

G Suite for Education is a set of Google applications with a special licence for educational institutions. G Suite for Educationincludes tools that you know already such as GMail and Calendar, but also some tools that you may be less familiar with such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Classroom and many more - and several extensions to these. The core of G Suite for Educationare office applications, similar in to MS Office applications. On these pages we will focus on using these for educational purposes, particularly Google Drive and Google Docs.

Additional info
G Suite Training
G Suite Training

G Suite Training

With G Suite Training, you learn interactively and just-in-time, how certain features of G Suite for Education work. G Suite Training is available as a Chrome browser extension. To install the extension, click in Chrome on the following link.

After installation, you will find in the top right corner of all G Suite for Education applications a button to start the interactive training.

G Suite for Education
G Suite for Education

Reasons for using G Suite for Education

There are many (practical) reasons for using G Suite for Education:

  • Fully online: The tools are fully online, they work in a web browser or apps on mobile devices. No USB-drive or other storage devices are needed to work with documents in different locations.
  • Platform independent: G Suite for Education may be used on PCs, Macs, Iphones and Android phones, Ipads, other tablets and Chromebooks.
  • Collaboration: The tools are built for collaboration, allowing several persons to work on the same document at the same time
  • Access through university accounts: You simply use your university email (linked to your p- or s-account) to work with the applications.
  • Unlimited disk space: G Suite for Education offers UG users unlimited disk space, so you can create an infinite number of folders and files. File size does not matter (although very big files may of course affect performance of your device).
  • Autosave: G Suite for Education applications do not have File Save option. All files are saved automatically.
  • Free to use: G Suite for Education tools are available at no extra cost.

Of course, there may be reasons why you prefer not to use these tools. Functionality may be less advanced in some respects than MS Office tools or other tools which you know already or you may be concerned about privacy issues and Google. As with any technology, your choice of tools depends on comparing advantages and disadvantages.  

Additional info

Educational uses

Google Drive and Google Docs are a solid base for sharing files and working on documents together, both synchronously (at the same time) and asynchronously (sequentially). Users of folders and files can be notified of updates automatically. When using Google applications no mailing or uploads of files is necessary. This can be used to assure that the most recent version of a file is used for collaborating and editing.

Some educational uses which build on these features are:
  • Peer reviewing: Students can work on the same document together. They can use the comment and chat functions for discussing changes to the document. If they share the document with the teacher, the teacher can see the document develop. A revision history is available for tracking the development of the document.
  • Working together in learning communities: Collaborative work is particularly useful in communities of learning, where group participation and co-construction of knowledge are central. Notifications of changes to documents, new additions to the file system, etc. serve to enhance the sense of community. It is also possible to use Google docs with Google+ and Google Groups, social tools from Google which may be used for community building.
  • Collaboration at a distance: Independence of place makes it possible to work on documents from remote locations. So students can work with teachers and students from institutions across the globe. An aspect to consider is that the partners at a distance also need a Google account to make use of these tools.

Although focused on Google Drive and Docs, this description also applies to Sheets (spreadsheets) and Slides (presentations)

Additional information

Other applications for education

Google forms

Google forms is available for creating, distributing and analysing surveys. In educational contexts, there are many uses for surveys, such as setting up a survey among students, creating quizzes and tests, or gathering data for research.

Google Classroom

Classroom is a Google application which integrates Google Drive and Docs in an environment for classroom teaching.  It can be used to create classes, distribute and collect assignments, and communicate with students. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.

Classroom provides an alternative for or a complement to a more extensive learning environment such as Blackboard. It may be suitable when sharing and working on documents is a core activity of your teaching. In the video below, Dutch Language teacher Ronals Ohlsen of the Language Center explains why he chose Google Classroom for his language classes.

Last modified:14 June 2019 12.27 p.m.
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