Google Apps - Best Practices

Google App's in Rocky View is more than a student email account.

Our domain provides several core applications as well as market place app's.

To learn more about the various app's and to get ideas on how to use them in the classroom, please click on the "Learn More" link beside the following tools:

Core Applications:


What is it?

Gmail is an enterprise level email system that offers a secure, reliable, and easy to use

platform that is robust enough for feature-rich email users and is simple enough for a

student in a primary classroom. Email has become a basic communication tool in our lives

and can be leveraged in the classroom for many activities and as a way to gather


Why use it?  Learn More


What is it?

Google Docs is a free suite of applications that allows you to create, store, share, and

collaborate on documents with students and colleagues. Docs has the features you would

expect, such as word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation applications, but also

includes robust tools for creating student & parent surveys, quizzes, and mind maps.

Real-time collaboration is easy with Google Docs’ built in discussion features, commenting,

and document versioning. Extend the classroom beyond the computer lab by getting started

with Google Docs today!

Why use it?  Learn More


What is it?

Google Calendar is more than your average day planner. It’s a communication tool, a

collaboration tool, a resource scheduler, a task list, an event reminder, and a community

calendar. You can also use Calendar to send out information to students, staff, parents and

the community by linking with other tools.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible

and useful. Google Search is recognized as the world’s most widely used search engine, an

easy-to-use free service that quickly returns relevant and comprehensive results with a

great user experience. Using Google, students and teachers are able to access a variety of

information in many different languages: web content, maps, news, videos, images, books,

and so much more.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google Sites is a tool that allows students and teachers to create custom web pages with

their own content. Google Sites also has the ability to embedded media from many other

Google services, including Picasa Web Albums, YouTube videos, and Google Docs. A site can

be created for a class, a school, or any other group that needs to quickly share information

and ideas—even a team or club. The easy-to-use editor makes it possible to build a site in

minutes, create templates for others to use, collaborate with others and create different

pages such as announcements, dashboards, file cabinets, or lists. Google Sites also offers

control over who has access to each site; share with everyone, or only specific individuals.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google Translate is a free automatic translator. It works without the intervention of human

translators, using state-of-the-art technology instead. Google Translate currently supports

translation between 57 languages. Use Google to translate phrases, web pages, documents,

and chat sessions. Translations can even be read aloud in many languages. Google Translate

works in your browser or on your mobile device.

Why use it? Learn More


Secondary Applications:


What is it?

There is always more information out there. Let Google Books help you find it. Google

Books allows you to search, bookmark, organize, and share millions of books and magazines

from libraries and publishers worldwide.

Google Books allows you to use the power of search to find the information you are looking

for from the full text of books -- from the first word on the first page to the last word in

the final chapter – so you can find books that are important to your research.

After you find the perfect book grab the free version if available or use the Google

eBookstore to purchase an eBook to be read on the Web, Android, iPhone, iPad, Sony or


Why use it? Learn More


(Moon Sky Mars)

What is it?

Google Earth is a free, downloadable application that combines satellite imagery, maps, 3D

terrain and 3D buildings to create a highly realistic virtual globe. Teachers and students can

create their own virtual tours and share them with others. They can explore content

developed by organizations such as NASA, National Geographic, Jane Goodall and others. In

addition, Google Earth now allows students and teachers to turn their gaze upward to

explore the night sky or go under water to explore the depths of the ocean.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google Groups is a free, online service that helps groups of people easily share information

and communicate effectively. Groups are public or private places where members conduct

discussions either on the web or via email. All emails sent to the group are archived for

future reference and are easily searchable, either privately or publicly.

Why use it? Learn More

MindMeister & LucidChart

What is it?

MindMeister and Lucidchart are collaborative mind mapping and brainstorming services that helps individuals or groups of people easily organize their thoughts and information.

Why use it? Learn More

MindMeister has been downgraded to a basic account from the previous EdCamp version.


What is it?

Google Maps is a user-friendly mapping application accessible through your Internet browser

or your mobile device. Features include point-to-point directions by car, public

transportation, bicycling, and walking. Google Maps allows the user to control the visual

interface in order to view such features as terrain, satellite imagery, web cams, panoramic

photos, local business information, and Street View. Web-based geographical viewing from

Google Earth is now available in Google Maps. Users can create and collaborate with others

on custom maps in My Places.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google News brings together news from thousands of different sources from around the

world and makes them available in a single place. With Google News you can quickly browse

the top stories or easily search for a specific topic. You can personalize your news page to

see only the stories that interest you most, or have customized new alerts sent directly to

your email.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Picasa is a free application that helps you instantly organize, edit, publish, and share all the

pictures on your PC or Mac. With Picasa you can even create a collage or movie with an

album or series of photos. Picasa also makes powerful photo editing simple. Picasa Web

Albums allows photos from Picasa (or iPhoto via a plug-in, on a Mac) to be uploaded to the

web quickly and easily.

Why use it? Learn More


What is it?

Google SketchUp is a free downloadable application that gives students a robust 3D modeling

tool. Even though SketchUp is a very powerful program, in just a few minutes you can be

creating your own designs. There are lots of ways to learn how to expand your skills: with

official and unofficial video tutorials, an extensive Help Center and a worldwide user

community, becoming a SketchUp “Pro” is a few mouse clicks away. SketchUp lets you

create the simplest 2D shapes to the most advanced 3D structures. Give your students the

power to SketchUp their imagination and creativity.

Why use it? Learn More

Google+ Community


Google+ - What is it?

Use communities to start conversations around specific hobbies, interests, particular groups, or organizations.

As you’re creating your community, think about how people will use it and what type of content will be shared. This will help you decide whether to make your community public or private, and whether people need to request to be a member.

You can create one of four types of communities:


Who can join

Who can see members and posts

Who can find community through search

Best for...

Public - Anyone can join




Meeting people on Google+ who share your interests.

Examples: black and white photography, fanclub for your favorite sports team, current world events

Public- Moderator approval needed to join

Anyone can request to join, but moderators need to approve membership



Sharing content publicly, but limiting who can create it.

Examples: alumni from your university, your local neighborhood businesses, running club

Private- Let people find through search and request to join

Anyone can request to join, but moderators need to approve membership

Only members


Creating closed communities for specific public organizations.

Examples: a jazz band, dance troupe, parent teacher association

Private- Hide community from searches

Only invited people

Only members

Not shown in search results *

Small groups to have more private conversations.

Examples: Johnson family, Economics study group, party planning committee

*Note: The name and photo of a private community that’s hidden from search will still be visible to people who type in or directly visit the community’s web address.

If you choose not to have search engines index you community,  your community itself won't appear in Google search results. However: Your community will still remain visible to anyone with your community URL. Other pages and content (including websites, blogs, and Google products such as Picasa Web) that link to your community can still appear in search results on Google and other search engines.

Create a community


  • Click the communities icon on the left side of Google+.

  • Click the Create a new community button beside the gear icon.

  • Decide whether or not you want your community to be Public or Private and click the corresponding box.

  • Enter a name for your Community.

  • Pick a unique name that clearly communicates the purpose of your community. If you also have a Google+ page, try to avoid choosing the same name as your page so people aren’t confused which is which when searching.

  • Whether you choose Public or Private, there’s one more choice to make. See the table above to see which option is best for your community. If you want to change your community’s visibility type, you’ll have to delete the community and create a new one.

  • Click Create community.

  • Keep up with your community on the go with the Google+ mobile app


    Next steps after you’ve created a community

    Add a photo

    Your photo will be the first thing people see. Pick a photo that represents the purpose behind your community.

    Set a community photo in the "Edit Community" section under the Actions menu

    Complete the About section

    The About section is the primary place for new members to learn about your community, so use this opportunity to:


  • Describe the purpose of your community

  • Set clear expectations around posts and discussions

  • Add any additional information or relevant links


    Invite people to join

    Follow the steps and share with your circles to invite people to join:


  • While in your community, click Actions to open the drop-down

  • Select Invite people

  • A share box will open. You can write a message to include with your invitation

  • Add names, circles, or email addresses of the people you’d like to invite

  • Click Send


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