Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Google It!

This year our 5th and 6th grade students are lucky enough to have gotten laptops. But, working/learning in a 1:1 environment can be challenging. There are a few things this year that have made the transition successful.
The first was the ability of our district to provide Google Apps/Web tools teacher training in July and August. This gave the teachers who chose to attend a leg up. Second, as a building we set up a "boot camp" for the students, during which classroom teachers teamed up. Topics in the rotation included the AUP, Google Drive, School Fusion (this is what houses our district webpage), and email. This seemed to really help students once we began using these items in the classroom.
A surprise that I encountered was that I have many student "experts" that are willing to help out. The idea of student tech teams is not new. But I think at times we underestimate how advanced students can be in the field of technology. So, if you have students willing help out, let them!
The following are some resources for Google Apps and 1:1 environments.

*What's new in Google Apps?
*Google Apps Education YouTube Channel
*K12 Guide to "Going Google"
*Google Apps Training Videos
*ISTE 2011 Google Apps for Education
*63 page Guide to Google Drive and Docs

*Van Meter 1:1
*The 1:1 Classroom
*1 to 1 Schools
*1:1 Classroom Management
*21 Steps to 1:1 Success