Google’s Applications for Undergraduate University Courses: Tools for Sharing, Communication, and Collaboration

Google’s Applications for Undergraduate University Courses: Tools for Sharing, Communication, and Collaboration

Despo Ktoridou (University of Nicosia, Cyprus), Nikleia Eteokleous (Frederick University, Cyprus) and Ioanna Dionysiou (University of Nicosia, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2122-0.ch054

Abstract

Following technology’s evolution and society’s needs and demands, the current study examines the integration of cloud computing with higher education. The study uses cloud computing, and specifically Google applications, to enable students and faculty to communicate and collaborate, aiming at the same time to develop a student-centered learning (SCL) environment, where students have an active role and take responsibility of their own learning. A case study approach was employed in three undergraduate courses using qualitative data through online activity observations as well as focus groups with the students and lecturer. To achieve the above, outcome and process evaluation were conducted. The primary conclusion is that Google applications facilitated the development of a SCL environment. Specifically, the SCL cloud environment enhanced students’ motivation and responsibility towards learning, built student-teacher relationships, promoted active learning, and finally, achieved the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Chapter Preview
Top

Background

This section briefly discusses the essential background information on student centered learning. It then proceeds with an introduction to cloud computing technology as well as its role in the education arena. Finally, there is a brief introduction to Google Applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Google Applications for Education: A free suite of hosted email and collaboration applications exclusively for schools and universities.

Web 2.0: A web application allowing interaction and collaboration in a social media dialogue.

Cloud Computing: The internet representation in network diagrams, in the form of a cloud.

Google Applications: An open source suite of hosted email and collaboration applications for: individual users, Apps Business, Educational institutions Google Apps Governments and non-profit editions.

Student-Centered Teaching Methods: Teaching methods that shift the focus of activity from the teacher to the learners.

Inquiry-Based Learning: Students are actively involved in learning and possess skills and attitudes that permit them to seek resolutions to questions and issues while they construct new knowledge.

Problem-Based Learning: Students tackle with an open-ended, real-world problem and work in groups to identify learning needs and develop a feasible solution, with instructors acting as facilitators.

Case-Based Instruction: Students analyze real life case studies that involve solving problems and/or making decisions.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset