I have been using Google Apps for approximately 12 months and I have spoken to many educators who have gone through the process of becoming a Google Certified Teacher. I am inspired by this and believe I have the knowledge and skills to achieve this. My plan became actions when, in April I travelled to Sydney for the Ed Tech Team’s Google Summit. I thought I was very knowledgeable with my use of the suite and my goal for the conference was to make connections and meet some inspirational educators along the way. Instead, I learnt so much my brain was almost ready to explode after 2 days of “Google in Action”. I also learnt that there is so much I DON’T know about the suite and in particular the scripts that make the suite so much more powerful.
Following this, I returned home inspired and determined to achieve Google Certification. I studied thoroughly and completed the exams to achieve Google Certified Educator within a week of leavng Sydney. This was another steep, but very rewarding, learning curb. I now felt knowledgeable enough to present my skills to a wider audience. This opportunity came when I applied to present at our upcoming professional Development Day.
I am please to say that the long awaited and highly anticipated presentation of Google Apps for Education was delivered last Friday 6/6/2014. I presented to approximately 45 professionals across the LeFevre Peninsula Partnership Schools, along with an invited guest from Mt Barker. This group included teachers from Junior Primary to Secondary, including school leaders, teachers, pre-service teachers and school support officers.
Participants were firstly given an overview of the Google Apps with many demonstrations and several practical activities. Then participants were encouraged to create a Google site where they could begin developing a space where they can deliver online curriculum to all students. We all joined in the fun of collaboration in a Google Document. This proved to be a very popular tool and everyone participated well. I was able to demonstrate tools such as the research tool and revision history to show participation and interactions by individuals. Some teachers began using their Google Drive to upload documents in preparation for online curriculum delivery.
After this I demonstrated creating a Google Form, we looked at the raw responses, and associated summary of responses. The most powerful example of how Google Forms could save teachers time was through the us of scripts including Flubaroo and Autocrat. The demonstration of time saving capabilities and the possibilities for test/quiz marking was certainly a big positive for all staff.
Personally I was very happy with the day and the inspiration I gave to all participants. I was continually congratulated at the end of the day for delivering such a useful, motivational and informative presentation. My greatest measure of success from this presentation was the signing up for Google Apps by site leader from another school. My initial goal was to inspire teachers to investigate this suite as an option to provide collaboration and participation in their classrooms and schools. With the signing up to the Google Apps suite I know I went beyond the inspiration to investigate; I convinced them that this is a sound and appropriate tool for all schools.
I am now working through the process of further integration and up-take of the suite at our site, along with my application to become a Google Certified Trainer and Teacher. This passion is beginning to build a very strong momentum that continually excites me. I must remember to take it slow when I am sharing my knowledge, as quite often I will mention a new feature that I have found or heard about, which will make others overwhelmed. My next challenge is to support teachers to become independent users with personal motivation rather than being an initiative that dissipates without the individual to drive the project.
If you are interested in connecting with me for more information about the potential of using Google Apps in your school please feel free to comment here or find me on any social networks:
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