Playing in the Clouds: an Introduction to Cloud-based Technology for Year 8s

Over the past two weeks I have been introducing students to cloud-based services.

I have started with Google services, specifically Google Docs, Slides and Calendar.

They were shocked and awed at the practical display of how multiple users can edit documents (I had previously created two gmail accounts for this purpose). I did have one student bemoan the fact that this technology means the end of the “my computer crashed and I lost my homework” excuse. They started discussing how they could use a multiple edit document as a chat service and they were even more amazed when I showed them that there is chat functionality built in to Docs so they can talk as well as work. I also pointed out that if they were chatting in the middle of a joint essay they may forget to delete their comments and hand in something inappropriate to their teacher.

This week I will be showing how Google docs can be edited via mobile devices and introduce them to using Picasa to store images for projects.

I have also created Pinterest accounts for my teaching gmail accounts and will show my students how to use them to store websites and online information as proto-bibliographies.

Following on from this I will introduce them to free (legal) software and how to stay safe (and anonymous) online.

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