HSE is a GAFE district. Start with the word GIRAFFE, now take out the IR and one F. There you have it. GAFE. That’s short for Google Apps for Education. What does this mean for our teachers and students? Read on!

What is GAFE?

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.47.50 AMThe Google corporation offers school districts the opportunity to create customized domain(s) within the Google universe (See: Google for Education) . Being a GAFE district means that HSE can assign each teacher and student a Google account, i.e., access to all Google apps and features, within the safe confines of a district’s own network. And it’s all for free.

What are the features of GAFE?

For starters, cloud storage. Each member of the HSE Google domain has a personal Google Drive with unlimited storage. Whether it’s video, images, presentations, spreadsheets, or documents, teachers and students can upload all of their files to their Google Drive for 24/7 access on any web-enabled device. And we never have to worry about running out of space!

Google owns YouTube. With every Google account comes a YouTube channel where teachers can upload and share student projects and presentations, building video portfolios of learning. Teachers can create lessons and tutorial videos for their students as well (sometimes called ‘flipping the classroom’). They can create playlists of educational videos for their students to watch…all without the ‘comments’ and ‘ads’ seen on public YouTube sites.

Inside Drive, Google has productivity tools: Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Through the ‘sharing’ feature, these apps allow for real time collaboration between multiple users. Between teacher and student, ‘sharing’ means that a teacher can provide input on a project, or edit a paper, before it’s handed in for a final grade. Amongst student teams, Google’s collaborative features foster teamwork and efficiency.

There are many other ways that Google tools complement 21st-century instruction. In future posts, HSE21 will highlight ways teachers are using Google apps to enrich and deepen learning in the classroom.

Image Source: Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata” by brookenovak – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –