Last week, Avni and I met with the Instructional Technology team for Hanover County Public Schools. Together we came up with some interesting ideas for how Google might be useful in the classroom, many of which had never occurred to me before:
- Collaborative writing assignments and classroom homepages using Google Apps
- Research activities with book search and patents
- Using "filetype:kmz" to find interesting KML files for things like the Civil War battles (viewable in Google Earth)
- Translate and spell check in the Google Toolbar
- Searching with a custom search engine designed for a specific grade level
I was impressed with how progressive they were in terms of bringing technology into the classroom. We're talking about K-12 students, so I asked about how to prevent students from goofing off or playing games. Their response was that, while that's a valid concern, the greater risk was having schools lag in technology adoption and letting fear stifle innovation.