How Google Could Take Over the World
I teach seventh grade. I, just like almost every secondary teacher in the world, use an online gradebook to keep all of my grades. In many ways online gradebooks are great tools, except for the fact that they all suck. And they're expensive. I have, for a couple of years now, imagined what it would be like if Google would spend some time creating an online grading system, and I've come to the following conclusion: every school in the country would immediately begin using it. As I've considered what that would mean for Google, I have become more and more convinced that they're crazy not to do it. Consider the following scenario:
Teacher: I'm a teacher and I use this great new software called GoogleGrades. On the most basic level, it lets me keep track of my students' performance, and it lets them login online to see scores on different assignment (this is what most gradebooks do). Thankfully it was created by Google, so it can do so much more. I have all of my students use Google Docs to submit their writing assignments. When students submit such assignments, they immediately are sent to my gradebook. By clicking on a student in the gradebook, I can read and grade his/her essay; when I finish, the student will be able to view the essay with my feedback. Since my students will all be required to have Google logins to see their grades, they will all have access to Google+. This is the best part (I've found that most of my students that ever really try Google+, they embrace it). Each of my classes is a circle on my Google+ account. If I need to remind 6th-period English to bring their text tomorrow, this is a pretty great way to do. Students will also have an effective way to communicate with classmates, and Google+ seems like the perfect place for Google to eventually incorporate some sort of private discussion board that; many English/history teachers would embrace this.
My school also uses GoogleGrades as our attendance software. This is great because I have a Nexus 7, and it has the GoogleGrades app. It allows me to touch the picture of one of my students to tell the system that he's absent or tardy. Since I have saved the days agenda (along with handouts and homework assignments) to my GoogleGrades database, it will send all absent students the materials they need. I also like to keep track of participation in my class; thankfully the GoogleGrades app has a participation tracker. Every time I call on a kid, I touch his/her picture. At the end of the week, I can look and see that Jon hasn't answered many questions correctly; this will allow me to target struggling students.
Student/Parent: I really like this new GoogleGrades software my school is using. It's nice and polished, and it has encouraged me to try and use Gmail (since I'm using my Google account so frequently anyway). I also feel as thought my teachers and school are using the latest technology, and I appreciate the fact that I can get make-up work without needing to go to the school to pick it up.
Google: Everything's gotten better for us since we started using GoogleGrades. Every student (and his mom) in the world just signed up for a Google account, because every school is so happy to use our software; it the best, and it's free. These kids are using Gmail more frequently, and they really seem to be embracing Google+. Schools are buying tablets for their teachers because they are cost effective and a great classroom tool. The news keeps talking about how we're helping to advance technology in the classroom, and everyone thinks we're great because we're providing incredibly valuable tools for free. Thank you world, for choosing Google. Sorry Apple and Facebook.