Gone Google? Now go Advanced…

imageThis is a guest post from Tiaan Lotter (@MrLotter), a Google Certified Teacher from South Africa. Tiaan is a very innovative Afrikaans teacher from Parklands College and he frequently presents at conferences around South Africa. Visit his website at In a previous guest post Tiaan shared about his experience at the Google Teacher Academy in London. Thanks for the great sharing Tiaan and Parklands College. 

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Google Apps…

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) has been around for a while now. Many of us a using Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Sites or a mixture of them. Whether under a GAFE account or our own personal accounts, we love many things about it and I am sure many of us have a few issues… Everyone can agree, though, that the collaborative aspect of Drive and the interconnected nature of it all is astounding. If you are not either using GAFE or seriously considering using it, get out from under your rock – you are missing out!

Some of the converted Google-ites are also missing out! Although all the obvious features in Google are amazing, I have compiled a review of two features that are perhaps not as apparent but are equally useful.

Using Gmail Offline

That’s right, all arguments are invalid because you can use Gmail offline. Not entirely, though… due to the nature of e-mail you will need a connection at some point to carry on. But this trick will show you how you can still access all your mails as well as compose mails while suffering from a connectivity-cavity.

1. Download the Gmail Offline Chrome App


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2. Activate offline mail in Gmail

Go to the Cog, select Settings, select the Offline tab, and select the option to Activate Gmail Offline.


After this, you should be able to launch Gmail Offline from this location or from your Apps Home Screen in Chrome. (See the image below)

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The interface will be more like something you are used to in the Gmail tablet and ipad apps, but the functionality of writing and reading e-mails offline is worth the sacrifice, in my opinion. Because this is a Chrome App it almost goes without saying that you can only use this within Chrome.

Google Tasks

We all have a to-do list whether we write it down or not. Google Tasks allows you to plan your tasks right from your Gmail home screen. Google Tasks is the small brother of Gmail that lives in the same house, but no one ever notices. To access this small, but useful feature, click on Mail in your Gmail home screen, and select Tasks. It will bring up the Tasks pane on the bottom right of your screen.

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SchoolNet says: Thank you very much Tiaan for this explanation of these two useful features. We really appreciate you sharing your knowledge via the SchoolNet blog.  

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