Friday, March 14, 2014

Google Apps Training Almost Finished

We are half-way through our third and final cycle of Google Apps for Education initial training for teachers.  We have already trained in Drive basics and Calendar basics, and are now finishing up GMail basics.  It is an exciting time for our staff (a little nerve-racking, as well).  Teachers and staff are starting to see some of the real power in Google, and we haven't even spent much time looking at the advanced applications of Apps.  The future is bright.

Our mail changeover date is less than 1 month away.  We are in the process of creating district-wide calendars, resources, and groups.  The migration seems slow, but deliberate.  I think that because we are so deliberate, we are finding that the staff appreciates the efforts we are putting forth in training them to use the different pieces.  We introduce them to an aspect of Google Apps, and then give them time to work with that.  Then, we come back with another App, etc.

We have also provided many ways for our staff to learn.  We have done in-building, face-to-face trainings, created a packet of training tutorials, and created video tutorials that they can access when they have time.  By providing the resources in many formats, we give them different ways to process the information, as well as resources to go back and reference if more info is needed.  We have also put everything onto a wiki that is accessible from anywhere - Google Training Wiki.  Here is a video from our third training component - GMail Basics.

This has been an interesting process, and am really looking forward to being able to see it go "live".  I am really excited to see how our teachers start to utilize the power of Google Apps for Education, both with each other and with their students.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Google Forms at Central OEA/NEA Leadership Conference

I got the opportunity to spend the afternoon at the Central Ohio OEA/NEA Leadership Conference.  We spent a couple of hours talking about Google Forms and how you could use Google Forms to help with Formative Assessment.  Forms makes it very easy to collect, organize, summarize and share data.  I shared some examples and we discussed some ideas with participants.

Here is my presentation.  It shares some steps to create Forms, as well as some ideas on how to share the data.  A couple of things that I use with Forms are Flubaroo, a script to grade assessments collected in a spreadsheet, and Wordle or Tagxedo, word cloud generators.

I am always happy to share what I know, but seem to learn a few things new each time I work with a group.  Google Apps are so powerful and helpful that teachers seem to always find new ways to use them.

Keep Googling!