So our school is now a “Google school.” It has been a good experience so far. All of our students have their own email now, and according to our recent stats check, just over half of them are using their email accounts daily. Our faculty seems to have taken to the Gmail-format email, and Google docs are permeating the landscape. With few exceptions, things have been smooth for such a broad-scoped endeavor. Our technology class (a new endeavor for our Tech Dept) is blogging, some with greater fervor than others, but several have amazing blogging voices and are truly fun to read. Some students from International Marketing/Business used Google Sites for a hypothetical business project, and one of our English teachers is piloting threaded discussions with his English Classes through Google Groups. Unfortunately I can’t share the discussions as they are private groups, but their teacher is encouraged about the depth of discussion he is seeing, especially with his seniors.
The seniors taking to the threaded discussions is interesting to me as they are (collectively) the class least likely to check their school email accounts (ninth grade is the most likely). Students using the Google Docs has greatly freed our Tech Department to focus on things like training, professional development and strategic planning as opposed to converting files and flash drives that were put through the wash or run over in the parking lot. Refreshing.
We held our first (and successful) training for our staff during lunch last week, addressing some “beyond basics” points on our email and Google Docs. We were pleased with overall attendance. We will be doing a second training in two weeks on iMovie and FLIP cameras (more on that later). I hope that training is well received also.
Busy but good.