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The Thinking Stick Jeff Utecht
Educator Consultant Author
Updated: 1 hour 11 min ago
Just a quick announcement that I will be running the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) course over the summer for those who are interested in learning more about Google Apps.
The second cohort is about a week away from finishing and it has been great to learn with people on this journey into Google Apps. It really is a love/hate relationship. I love all that I learn from people and things they teach me as Google moves so fast. Also I hate it as it makes it hard to keep the content up to date. I’ll be going back and redoing the Google+ videos with the new announcements for sure.
You can head over to gafeclass.com and check out the projects from past participants in the course and see how they are using Google Apps in their classroom and what you learn in this 8 weeks online course.
Also check out the about page to learn about the pedagogy used in the course. This really is a course that takes advantage of the Internet and living in a connected world.
I also allow you to decide what your final project looks like. Giving you as many options as possible and of course I’m always open to your own suggestions.Final Project (50% of overall grade)
Well you have made it to the end of the GAFE course now time to put what you have learned into action. There are a couple different options you have for completing your final project. I have outlined them below. If you have an idea that better fits your situation please message me and we’ll talk through it to make sure it fits with the outcome of this course.Option 1 Use Google Apps with your Students/Staff
You will use Google Apps for Education in your class to enhance the learning experience for students. The outcomes should be student learning focused and age appropriate. You will share the project with the rest of the participants in this course so they can offer feedback and learn from you. You must also “try out” your project with your students and get their feedback on its use.
You will create a video no longer than 10 minutes using Google Presentation, Google Hangout, or YouTube that answers the following questions.
- What were your goals for your Google Project?
- What tools did you use? Why did you choose these tools for this/these task(s)?
- How did you go about introducing your project to the students?
- How did the students react?
- Outcome? Did you meet your goals?
- Evidence of student learning?
- What would you do differently next time? What did you learn?
- How do you plan to share this with your school colleagues?
- What was your greatest learning in this course?
Similar to option 1 except your audience would be other people taking the GAFE course and the public at large. You would create a video similar to the ones I created except adding your own learning and showing examples of how you have used that specific tool/topic with students/staff in a learning environment.
Option 3 Complete the application for the Google Certified Trainer Program
Sign up and take the test and complete the application for the Google Certified Trainer Program
Option 4 Taking on the Google Ninja Program
Help me by creating content and setting up a very similar system to this for the Ninjaprogram.com website so students around the world can become google ninjas. It would mean creating study materials or pointing kids in the direction of resources, coming up with activities, and maybe even making a video or two.
Categories: International News
Now I have admitted before that I am a google fan boy. I love Google, I love their products, I love the way they take risks in development, I love the future they are trying to make a reality. So it should be no surprise that on Wednesday I prepared myself for the 3 hour Keynote that kicked off Google I/O Developers Conference this year. The conference has now ended and it is time to write my own reflection on the event and how I think this all relates to education.
Let’s start with the educational announcements:
Facts from the above video:
- 25 Million educational users all around the world
- In the US, 74 of the top 100 Universities use Google Apps and 7 of the 8 Ivy League Universities use Google Apps.
Love that they released these figures as just two weeks ago I had an IT Director tell me students still needed to know how to use Word as that was the standard. According to Google itself over 5 million businesses use Google Apps. What this tells me is platform no longer should be the focus. Wordprocessing the skill should be.
It’s Google’s Job to Fix It
Now I understand that this is Google trying to sell a product. But really isn’t that exactly what we hear educational institutions say? If only it was easier, faster and of course cheaper. What I love is Google is taking on those challenges and is continuing to try and knock down the barriers of technology in the classroom. At some point educational institutions will run out of reasons not to fully integrate technology. The only reason that will be left is fear….and fear is no way to run a school.
Google Play Store for Education
Two things here that make this a game changer:
1) The easy of use to volume purchase an app for a school/district or classroom.
2) No syncing of devices or management needed. The next time the device connects to wifi the new app, books or the video is instantly downloaded to the device. This is HUGE and those of you who are in charge of managing iPads in schools know just how huge this is. No need to sync, no need for one computer to manage all the iPads. Just buy and done. WOW!
Of coures this is a direct shot at the iPad. The question I have is, are they too late? No school that has invested in iPads is going to change to Android. Not for a long while anyway so I am left wondering just how much effect this will have. There are some schools that are going with Nexus 7 tablets and for them this is a big announcement for sure. But we’ll have to wait and see if this actually brings new schools to the Android platform.
I will say though that you put a ChromeBook with a Nexus 10 device and you are in a 2 to 1 situation for about $650 per student. That is very very tempting. If I am starting a new school tomorrow I would have to seriously way this against the MacBook Air and iPad combination that is about $1400. There is a huge savings cost there. That along might put Google in the game of education.
If you haven’t seen the demonstration of what is coming to the Chrome Browser than you need to watch this. How does this change the classroom?
Honestly this to me was the biggest announcement of the three hour keynote. One of the big things I focus on in all my talks is how search is THE skill of our time. If there is one thing that everyone should know how to do today it is to know how to search. Not “find stuff” but really search the web for meaningful information. What they showed of course is pretty basic but this is just the beginning for sure. This is going to be a game changer.
If I were a 4th grade teacher today (which if I went back into the classroom is where I would go) I would start next school year by buying a ChromeBook setting it up in my classroom and would have it be always open to Chrome. Over the computer would be a sign that says “Ask Me Anything”. We would use the computer throughout the day to answer our questions, to see if we could stump it, to see what information we could “find” and what information did we need to “search” for. How would the classroom change if Google was your teaching partner? How would your teaching change? How does learning change?
Lastly…something that I’m still working through, is over the last two days I have listened to some of the other presentations and more than once developers have been talking about the “On Demand Generation“. That this generation (meaning all of us living right now) are more and more expecting things to happen when we want them to. We want our TV shows when we want to watch them, we want our music when we want to listen, we want our information when we want it, and we want directions now and based on the latest traffic information available. What about weather and my ability last week to know exactly when to quit playing golf for a 30 minute rain delay as the storm passed overhead. We are expecting it as a society and developers are focusing on it. This is what is coming; the ability to get anything we want “On Demand”.
I keep thinking about this and how does this change everything about education? An education system that was built over a hundred years ago on the premise of “Just in Case”? If we can literally learn anything “On Demand” then education has to change. It can not survive a world where there is no “Just in Case”. We need new skills, we need new knowledge. We need to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn quickly and we need to be comfortable always being a beginner.
What are your thoughts? What does school look like if we are preparing an “On Demand Generation” for their future?
Categories: International News