by Michael J. Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Michael Graham’s Google Apps Meets Common Core (Corwin 2013) is exactly what I hoped it would be. As a teacher, there couldn’t be two bigger topics than ‘Google Apps for Education’ and ‘Common Core’. Juxtaposing the two instantly caught my attention. My only question was whether Graham would be up to the task.
Graham does a great job of going through all the parts of Google Apps, showing steps with lots of pictures, so I can almost walk through them in the book without trundling over to my computer. He starts with a pithy summary of Common Core and then goes through each tool–Docs, Spreadsheet, Presentations, and more.. He also provides quick, educational uses of each piece–sometimes a full lesson plan. Then there are the nuggets that make it worth reading even if nothing else catches your attention. Like learning how to embed Google Docs into a website, blog, wiki (page 34). I used that the first day I got the book.
Graham has a good writing voice. It’s clear, able to simplify what could be technical geekie points that I want and need to know as a teacher. By the time I finished the book, I felt a lot better about aligning to Common Core and using Google Apps.The only part I was a bit disappointed in was the ‘companion website’–not at all up to what the book delivered. Hopefully, he’ll work on that over the coming months.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.