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Conway High School goes 'high-tech' with Google

Posted: April 8, 2014 - 6:09pm

A popular application housed under the Google Corporation, Google Drive has made its way into the technological toolbox of Conway High School students and faculty.

“It is needed because Common Core prepares students for the workplace,” said Leigh Masterton, Media Specialist at Conway High School. “In the workplace, employees must know how to utilize technology. Technology is a part of our everyday lives and it is important to facilitate proper use of technology in order for our students to be competitive in the job market.”

Masterton explained that students are excited to use this technology, and it allows them to work together.

An informational meeting was held Tuesday night for parents and others in the community interested in learning how the school was incorporating technology into curriculum as a supplement to Common Core State Standards.

“This benefits schools because it allows students to collaborate with each other in and outside of class,” Masterton said. “Students can easily share documents with each other and teachers. There is no need for students to purchase flash drives or worry about losing their work. Everything is managed and saved in their Google Drive account.”

Google Drive offers a unique function, sharing. Documents simply need to be shared with one another electronically and can be accessed by those in the Google “circle.” This ease of access inspired Kristina Lampe to implement a new process of accessing documents.

“[Masterton] uses QR codes created using Google Shortener for students to have easy access to documents from Google Drive, web addresses, YouTube videos, book logs, quizzes, surveys, or anything with a URL address. Students use their Google Drive accounts on a regular basis whether it is scanning QR codes to access web links, creating presentations, documents, or emailing responses to reflection questions,” Lampe said.

Students have enjoyed using the Google Drive system and incorporating it in their technological toolbox.

“From my experience, the students have been extremely receptive to using Google Drive,” Lampe said. “They appreciate being able to use technology more freely in the classroom and having the tools available at no cost to them. This has been the first year that students haven’t come to me upset because the document they created couldn’t be found or they didn’t save their document.”

Although this online and free service has been accepted fully by students, faculty members have continued using the Microsoft office suite.

“This is new for many teachers so Microsoft Office is used more frequently than Google Drive, however documents created in Google Drive can be downloaded as PowerPoint, Microsoft, or Excel [documents],” Masterton said.

A perk of having Google Drive and Microsoft Office is that they can both be used together. If a student has a file that is saved as a Google Drive Document, then a teacher can access the file using the familiar Microsoft system.

Masterton is hopeful that teachers will one day use Google Drive to teach in class and to provide supplemental activities such as worksheets, homework and other assignments.

“Teachers are willing to learn more about Google Drive,” Masterton said.

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