In his presentation, From the 5th Grade to the 5th Discipline: Google Apps as a Platform for the Learning Organization, Professor Richard Devon discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using Google Apps in his class. He begins by stating that he began integrating Google Apps into his class with no financial support, no previous knowledge, and no colleagues who were able to assist him. Where and how should he start?
He began by asking his students. “What is the World doing with this and how are they doing it?” The main answer…collaboration. Once Prof. Devon began working with Google Apps, he discovered that Google Apps is more simplistic that most software suites or bundles. Thereby reducing the learning curve required to actually use the tools. He indicates some of the apps need some adjusting, such as Google Sites. An app that allows individuals to create websites, was found to be very difficult when trying to format certain elements on the pages.
Google Apps creates transparency between the students and their instructor – if students complete their assignments its there, there is no I forgot it at home. In addition there is a log in record in some of the apps allowing the instructor to see who and how often students were contributing to team activities.
The overall impression is that Professor Devon found Google Apps to be reliable, accessible from anywhere, provides excellent opportunities for collaboration, and its free to all users. He refers to it as a “A4 computing: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow