School as we knew it has changed, forever. Remember when the graphics calculator was considered the most high tech part of your education? These days Google is making technology affordable and practical in schools to get young minds accustomed to the technology of the real world. How?
Google Apps for Education
This free collaboration suite for schools worldwide has been embraced by 30 million students and teachers Google says. These apps include apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Hangouts, and the new Classroom app, a fancy app that allow teachers to assign and collect paperless assignments.
These free apps have allowed a new level of collaboration and interaction between teachers and students which has never been achieved by software like Blackboard and chief competitor, Microsoft office.
Do these Google Apps really work in the classroom? Who better to ask than the teachers themselves! Allanah King teaches part- time at Brightwater School near Nelson and also works as a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher.
Why did she become affiliated with Google Education? Because she thinks it’s the future of education. Why? It’s all about connecting people and the appealing low cost. “The Google for schools suite has most tools that learners might need for free. The learning the children do in school can easily be transferred as they move from one learning establishment to another, and beyond school.”
Google Education brings people together. Allanah King is thrilled that teachers don’t need to feel isolated in their work anymore, they can connect with other staff via Google Apps, plus connect with their students when needed, rather than be inaccessible out of school hours.
Heather Harper, a teacher at Maeroa Intermediate agrees. She believes Google is the way forward because it helps “build a supportive, connected relationship between teacher and students.”She says when you couple this with it’s promotion of learning and modern problem solving, it’s no surprise Google has already taken over classrooms in the US.
New Zealand teachers are clearly getting on board with this new technology. leading to the rollout of one of Google’s latest product in schools: Chromebooks
Chromebooks enter schools
Chromebook sales in the US are set to reach 5.2 million purely thanks to the adoption of Google in schools. New Zealand isn’t far behind.
Why choose a Chomebook above all other brands? They’re much cheaper, and can by bought for less than $500, and for a small fee, Google admin will configure them for you to link to your school’s server. Tauranga’s Otumoetai College is currently trailing the Chromebooks throughout the school, one of the first New Zealand schools to use the devices throughout grades.
For Kiwi schools excited to jump on board with Google in the classroom but unsure about Chromebooks, the BYOD policy (bring your own device) is a hugely popular policy being adopted in many of Kiwi schools.
Notable PDF in schools
Chromebooks and the Notable PDF app go together like bread and butter, so naturally Notable PDFs is bursting into Kiwi schools. Notable PDF makes working collaboratively with PDFs easier for students and teachers.
The best news? After partnering successfully with schools in the US, Notable PDF for Education is expanding to other countries including their very own New Zealand.
All in all, the future of schooling as we see it today is Google. Traditional methods of education are long gone, and Google is ready to show Kiwi schools the way forward.
For more insight about Google Education see Allanah King’s blog: http://allanahk.edublogs.org/
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