In this edition of the ADFI blog, I am interviewing David Webb, the USQ representative for Google’s Student Ambassador Program. David is currently studying Engineering (with a computer systems major) at USQ. He also works part time for a telecommunications company in Toowoomba.
1. What is the most useful Google product for external and/or on campus students?
Google Docs for both external and on-campus students. Google Docs allows the user to move between different computers and places and still have their assignments (as long as an internet connection is available) on hand. Google Docs is invaluable for group assignments, as it allows everyone to work on the live version and edit a piece of work at the same time.
Google Books is a great tool for searching a particular book. It is very useful for undergraduate students who are required to use only credible and relevant books (not articles from Wikipedia) when working on assignments. Google Scholar, by contrast, is useful for finding articles. The two yield the best results when used interchangeably.
2. How might a lecturer use any Google product to increase interaction between students?
To facilitate virtual office hours, particularly for external students. Google+ hangouts can be used to chat with up to ten students at one time, thus facilitating student interaction. One fancy feature of the tool is its ability to shift the video to the person who is talking with minimal delay. Hangouts on air allow 1-10 people to video chat and an unlimited number of people to watch. This could be used for a forum or online conference, for example.
3. Why were you interested in becoming a Google Student Ambassador?
In the early 2000s, I changed from MSN to Google search. I started using Google products (Gmail was one of the first and is, incidentally, the email platform used by USQ’s students), instantly liked the company and, in particular, their vision for giving away products with minimal and unobtrusive advertising. When the opportunity to be a Google Student Ambassador arose, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the company.
4. What does this role entail?
There are four key points:
- Learn about innovative Google products and programs;
- Plan and host fun events on campus;
- Act as a campus contact for Google teams;
- Help Google better understand each University’s culture.
5. Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
I hope to run an introductory session for both USQ students and staff on what Google’s Student Ambassador Program is all about.
In order to showcase the application of Google tools for learning and teaching, we have asked David to contribute a monthly blog to the Digital Futures Website. Once a month, David will select a Google product and provide a detailed analysis of its functions and possible uses in higher education.
Dr Amy Antonio