Technology Tools in Higher Education Science

Tool #5

Google Workspace

  • Description: Google Suite is a collection of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools created by Google, including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Calendar, followed by communication tools such as Gmail and Hangouts for video conferencing and chat. It allows users to create and share documents in real-time with others and is commonly used in education and business settings for its collaborative features (Boss & Larmer, 2018, pp. 148-150).

  • Three Benefits: Google Workspace can offer advantages for science instruction that include: 1) facilitation of collaboration through its cloud-based tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides which allow students to work together regardless of their location, 2) provide tools like Google Drive and Google Calendar that help students organize and manage information related to their science coursework, and 3) integration of science-related apps and tools, making it possible for instructors to incorporate interactive graphs or simulations into a Google Doc or Slide presentation using a tool like Desmos (Boss & Larmer, 2018; Sandrone et al., 2021).

  • Classroom Application: The utilization of Google Workspace in scientific education can promote cooperation, organization, communication, and accessibility among both educators and learners. For example, in the classroom, it can be used to create collaborative documents via Google Docs, which instructors can utilize to produce reports or research papers that students may work on simultaneously in real time. In addition, it can allow for embedding interactive simulations from websites like PhET or ExploreLearning into Google Docs or Slides presentations to enable students to explore scientific concepts, meanwhile, utilizing Google Forms to create online quizzes and assessments related to science topics that can be automatically graded and provide immediate feedback (Boss & Larmer, 2018).

  • Academic Integrity: Instructors can prevent academic integrity issues by encouraging collaborative work with transparency and accountability. For example, instructors can monitor collaboration and leverage tools like Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides to review each student's contributions and timeline of edits. By doing so, they can quickly identify improper collaboration or copying instances. Another key approach is to teach students the correct format for citing references, including in-text citations and bibliographies. Instructors should reinforce the importance of crediting original authors and using proper citation conventions.