I’ve had a account since 2007 when I graduated from college. I only used it for the e-mail function at first, but found it far superior to my yahoo and hotmail accounts. In 2009, I started using google docs to create and share documents (mostly with my husband). I experimented slowly with uploading and sharing pictures, forms, and blogger. I didn’t create a lot of documents, but I uploaded many instead of using my flash drive. This was really helpful as a teacher because I have several flash drives and wouldn’t always know where they were (nothing like having to create something on the fly because you misplaced a document!).
Towards the end of the 2009-10 school year, I found out that my high school had google apps for education. I was very excited for the possibilities and worked with our Instructional Technology Specialist to get my students going. In both the ’09-10 and ’10-11 school years I found it difficult to get my students on board and to manage all of their accounts. If they forgot their password (which they did often) I had to contact my ITS and have her reset it (not what she should be doing with her time!). Students were so comfortable with Microsoft Office that it was pulling teeth to get them to use google docs. I really don’t think they understood the power of sharing and the ability to edit a document at the same time as someone else. It was also challenging for me to have three email accounts to keep track of (personal, work and google apps for ed). I was prepared to do it all again this year because I’m obsessed with
…but over the summer we got great news! Our entire district of 25,000 students and 26+ schools went to google apps for education 🙂 My work email is now gmail based and I have access to all the google products I could need. The best thing is that each and every one of my students also received a google account (studentID@richland2.org and birthday as password). AHHH the possibilities! I have now gone to a 99% google docs system – I’m creating all of my new spreadsheets, documents and forms with google but I’m not uploading my assessments from previous years (gdocs and word don’t always play nice).
p.s. I still use google in my everyday life. Even though I recently bought a highly discounted Microsoft Office 2010, I haven’t used it once. The convenience of accessing my files wherever is too addicting. I also have a Droid phone….and I probably will upgrade to another one in the spring. I know some people are weary that google will take over the world, but I think I’d quite like a .