If there’s any one online service you’ve got to be connected to as a teacher, it’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter, and it’s certainly not any of the new sites you’ve heard about in the last few weeks or months.
If you’re going to do anything productive as a teacher, you must be connected to Google, and that means you’ve got to have a Gmail account.
If you’ve already got a Gmail account, I suggest you look around the site for some other useful tutorials. For those of you that are still using Yahoo or Hotmail, now is the time to get in the game. Others might think they’re “ahead” of the game by having a custom e-mail address such as firstname.lastname@example.org – but you’re only doing yourself a disservice by not connecting to google. Watch this tutorial to learn how to set yourself up. It’s pretty self explanatory, but after the video I’ll explain more about why you need to have an account.
As you can see, the basic set-up is really simple. You can get more in depth, and in the future we’ll explore more about some of the finer details, but for now let’s look at some of the reasons why you need Gmail.
Gmail provides you with an ever-expanding amount of storage, clean and easy to use organization, and access to all the other Google Apps.
No matter how you’re trying to access it, Gmail makes it easy to get your mail. Their apps for smartphones are outstanding, and it’s just as easy to connect to your mail client (programs like Outlook express or Apple Mail) as it is to access through your browser (Google prefers you use their own browser, Chrome).
Once you have a Gmail account, you’ll also have access to creating and working with all of Google’s other services. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Google Drive
And the list goes on and on. To be honest, I could dedicate all my time to only giving Google-related tutorials and never run out of things to talk about. Google has a massive list of available services, and they’re always working on more.
Even if you don’t plan to use it quite yet, set yourself up with a Gmail account, and when we get into their services in the future, you’ll be ready to go!
A quick note about choosing your address:
Make sure that you consider your audience when choosing your name. email@example.com might not be as appropriate as MrSmithsAstronomy@gmail.com. Often times it’s most appropriate for teachers to simply choose their names for the e-mail addresses, but whatever you do, make sure that your address is “future-proof”. That is to say, whatever you choose now will still be relevant 5-10 years from now. You never know who might try to contact you, and changing your address as little as possible is going to reward you in the long run.