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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Introduction to Google mail, or Gmail, as a multi-dimensional web-based vehicle for communication among students, parents, staff and the community

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how Gmail can facilitate communication among teachers, students, parents, staff and the Jewish community around the globe.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads as well.

Note: Although Gmail can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: Gmail can also be used in a face to face classroom without adding the online component.

What is Gmail?

 According to Wikipedia
this is their  explanation of Gmail:

Gmail is a free, advertising-supported webmail, POP3, and IMAP service provided by Google. Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta release on April 1, 2004and it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007, though still in beta status at that time. The service was upgraded from beta status on July 7, 2009, along with the rest of the Google Apps suite. As of November 2010[update], it had 193.3 million users monthly.

 Where is  Gmail  located on the web?

Click here and get to the location of Gmail.

Where can you find helpful  tutorials on how to use Gmail?

Click on the links below and  find  general tutorials on using Gmail:

     Click on the links below and find tutorials on how to chat, text or instant message on Gmail:

    Click on the links below and find tutorials on how to create a group chat on Gmail:

    Click on the links below and find tutorials on how to use Voice and Video options on Gmail:

    On the next post we will discuss how Google or gmail can be used to promote learning.

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