What Is Google Suite?
Google Suite (G Suite) is a set of online productivity apps for writing documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, surveys, and more. Those tasks in themselves might not seem very exciting, but G Suite has some unique features that make it one of the most valuable tools in your teaching toolbox.
How Do I Access G Suite?
To access the rest of G Suite’s apps, simply click the Google apps icon at the top of your Gmail page. It looks like a waffle, i.e., a three-by-three grid of grey squares. You’ll see this icon at the top-right side of the page in almost all of G Suite’s apps.
What Does Each App Do?
The hub of G Suite, Google Drive collects everything you make in Google apps in one spot. You can also store any files from your computer in Drive and share them with your students.
Google Docs has many of the same features as your favorite word processing software, with the added bonus of allowing you to edit documents in real time with other people.
With the power of Google Sheets, you and your students can wrangle large sets of data, transform them with formulas, organize them with filters or pivot tables, and visualize them with easy-to-learn graphing tools.
Google Slides provides a variety of simple graphics tools and animations that you can use to create presentations that illustrate course concepts, or you can have students use it to visually share knowledge and ideas.
You can use Google Forms to create surveys or quizzes for your students, or you can have students employ it to collect data on a research topic. Forms can store data you collect in a Google Sheet and present it in a summary chart.
With the new Google Sites, building an attractive, readable, organized website is simple. You can make your Google Site available to the world or allow only someone with a maine.edu email address to access it.
Use the Google Plus “Communities” feature as an alternative to Blackboard discussion boards, facilitate group project collaboration, or form a student learning community that continues after the semester is over.
With Google Drawings, you can create colorful diagrams, charts, and illustrations that you can import into other G Suite apps. You also have the option to export them as image or PDF files for use outside of G Suite.
Where Can I Learn More?
Google Learning Center
Google has its own training site designed specifically for G Suite. Visit the Google Learning Center to find out how to use G Suite apps and integrate them into your courses.