More and more schools are flying solo as they move toward becoming a Google Apps for Education school. If you don't know, Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a suite of free web applications and cloud-based storage that can be accessed from any modern web browser and is tailored for use in K-12 schools. The most popular apps are Google docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. This can replace the Microsoft Office Suite and it's all free. Not only that, it enables students to be able to access their work from any computer and students can work on their documents collaboratively with whomever they choose as long as their teacher gives them permission. Imagine being in school and inviting your parent to help you while you are in class? Imagine having an expert give you feedback on an upcoming presentation. This is all possible when you are a GAFE school.
The other nice thing about going GAFE is that if you set it up right, you never have to worry about reimaging devices. A task that could take up a part time job. The image is connected to the student once they log on.
While GAFE is GRRReat, going GAFE without support can be challenging. Fortunately in districts like New York City no one has to go it alone. That's because they've created a fantastic online resource and community of educators who can support each other, along with the help of some key folks right at Google.
You can check out the site here:
If you're not an employee of the NYC DOE school system there will be some areas not visible to the public because it is client specific.
There is also a community of NYC DOE staff who are using Google.
This provides a terrific anytime/anywhere support group to help educators supporting their school with Google.
Any district with schools that are going GAFE should consider creating a resource and online community to support teachers.
Has your school gone GAFE? If so, what sort of support does your district provide?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.