Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Use Google Applications For Education in the Library

I first started using Google Apps in 2008 when we moved 1,000 miles and I wanted to archive 14 years worth of documents from my library.  In 2009 I was in a school that used the Google Apps for Education and realized the power and ease of the applications.  Now in 2013 I am again in a school district that is using Google Apps for Education for both faculty and students.  After asking for ideas on #TXLCHAT and the TLC (Texas Library Connect) listserv I received many great responses of how librarians are using Google Applications for Education (#GAFE) in their libraries. Here's a list.

  • I created a sign in form for students visiting the library.  It automatically records the time and date they entered the library.  I included 3 fields-- their name, time of visit (before school, A, B, C lunch, Periods 1-8, or after school, and a reason for their visit.  It eliminated our paper sign-in doc.  It is a great multi-purpose tool--for library usage data and tracking students if needed.   It took about 5 minutes to create and I have it on 2 stations.
  • I love Google Forms and use them throughout the year to collect info from my teachers (Channel 1 TVs, number of students they have, just random stuff) that I need a response to, but don't want to have to keep track of a gajillion emails.
  • Our kids use Google Docs to share work with teachers (not necessarily directly related to the library, but I do have to show them how to share on a regular basis--even though this is year 3 of Google Apps for us).
  • We share documents with our campus a lot. For example, for our Thanksgiving Feast, the sign up is a Google Spreadsheet,  information about when/how to post grades has also been shared with our staff. It helps reduce paper.
  • I have wanted to use Google Forms for sign in/sign out (students on passes), but have been unable to get a computer in the spot where I want to do sign-in/out.
  • Some of our teachers use Google Forms for discipline. Students have to complete a form when they get in trouble writing down what happened and then that way the teacher has documentation.
  • Another great idea is to use Google Forms to let students request books.
  • I also have my Google Calendar (just for the library) embedded on my Destiny home page so students can see when their class is coming to  the library. My library aides especially love this.
  • We use Google Calendar for our computer lab sign up (a resource calendar has to be created at the district level)--that makes my life SOOO much easier!
  • With Google Calendars we also have a staff calendar that has school events and staff birthdays.
  • I keep the library schedule in a Google spreadsheet and send the link out to our faculty.
  • I have embedded book trailers from YouTube into Google presentations while book talking.  I easily change the trailers between classes as the books become unavailable via check-out.
  • I use it with lesson plans and collaborate with other librarians in the district on the same grade level.
  • I also use it as a tool for students and faculty to request books.
  • I use it for students to fill out if they are having problems with their Google accounts.  I can solve the problem and email the students the solutions.
  • I use a Google form for parent volunteers.

Please add other suggestions and ideas.


  1. Hi Sue,

    I just signed up for Google Apps for Education yesterday and noticed I am on the 30 day free trial. How much exactly does it cost per year? I thought it was free when I signed up but I guess not. :) Also, does each student need an email or can I bypass that? I want them to be able to collaborate together and for myself and their teacher to be able to access their work to grade it.

    Linzy M.

  2. Linzy,
    Our district signed up all our students and gave them district emails to log into their GAFE accounts. I know you can access Google accounts free through gmail but that would be another beast trying to manage student email accounts. You might try posting this question on the Google+ GAFE Community. Sorry I wasn't the greatest help. Maybe others will chime in on the cost.


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