Seldom, in my 11 years working with CBE students, teachers and technology, have I seen anything as readily adopted and potentially transformative as our move to Google Apps. Students of all ages have taken to the Google suite literally like fish to water, leaving smiling teachers bobbing in the wake. Here are some anecdotes that I’ve collected from my schools.
- Within one week of our intro session, a Grade 5 student (who had never even used email before) used Google Drive while on vacation with her family to collaborate on a Social Studies project with other group members who were still at school.
- Here’s a quote from a teacher - new to Google - who was initially very reluctant to begin: “The students are really loving this way of recording and sharing their work. Loved [hearing] a group of girls today making a time to collaborate tonight. And I had an interview with one of them tonight and she said all but one did log in and work at the designated time. … "forms". Oh my - what a tool. I experimented ... Took too much time doing this, but wow, the survey ability is awesome. … And the results showing up in a spreadsheet and with printed pie graphs - amazing.”
- Teacher comment, “I wonder when they’re going to figure out that they’re actually doing homework?”
- One teacher threw away his USB stick after he uploaded his first file to Google Drive. “Why would I continue to use it?”
- Tech Leader Comment: “If I walk into a classroom and the whole class is working on Word documents, I’m really going to go to that teacher and ask WHY?”
- Teacher Comment, “I have a student who never completes his assignments. But he has logged into Google every night this week and finished a journal paragraph. It’s not just that they’re doing the work, it’s that they’re doing better work.”
- Teacher: “The students write their home journal every night, and they used to submit them on Friday for marking on the weekend. Now I can mark them as they are written and my weekend is free!”
- Finally yesterday, I watched students in Grade 9 being coached to create and organize folders for their upcoming Grade 10 subjects. Having a consistent tool that is accessible from anywhere makes their learning seamless and eases the transition process to High School.
If you haven’t introduced your class to Google yet, I’m going to echo my tech teacher and ask, “What’s stopping you?”
Linda Easthope has been the smiling face of Client Technology Services in Area I schools for 11 years, and there's still something new every day.