Google Plus OHS Equals Success?


OHS has recently implemented Google programs into its education environment.

Lior Raz-Farley, Staff Writer

Google resources were first introduced to Ossining High School in the beginning of 2014; It’s influence is clearly recognizable in the 2014-2015 year as teachers dropped Wiki for the user-friendly Google. So what prompted this system change? How are the two different?

In the years prior to the switch to Google, all Ossining Schools operated with the use of wikispaces, a teacher’s personal page for their students. This provided communication from the teacher to his/her students outside of the school with relatively easy access, since it was accessible from the Ossining High School website. Its login was simply your school username and I.D., sometimes the same as the school portal login. The design was rather simple, and even formal compared to the Google Websites that have been recently introduced. Despite that, many students were misinformed about it in terms of location and it’s uses. Many teachers also didn’t mention it nor did they incorporate it into their classroom set up, which caused it to be disregarded. However, some classes were reliant on their Wiki page. There were announcements, alerts, and homework assignments that were posted there frequently. Unfortunately, my experience with wikispaces was not the best; accessing it was not the easiest due to its frequent malfunctioning.

This year, the official switch to Google was more prominent than last year. Teachers were prompted to inform all their students about these Google websites, allowing for a swift transition, so we can take advantage of its uses from the start of the year. For starters, it’s physical appearance gave it a much more “user-friendly” vibe, with its relatable themes and navigation. Compared to Google, wikispaces was not as well-known, causing it to take more time to get used to—whereas Google is a lot more recognized by students. A wiki page was also either one page or one website. While Google is not only used as a page, but also a Classroom, where homework can be submitted online, and the Google Community, where an entire classroom can communicate outside of class. Additionally, teachers can customize the pages they create.