Choosing what to focus on for my individual learning project was not easy. Once I opened my mind to the possibilities I was flooded with ideas. I could study French, my ancestral language that for political and personal reasons my father never spoke to me. I could study novel writing. Seeing my work in print has always been a dream of mine. I could learn the nuances of dog training from experts (although I think my nearly eleven year-old retriever is beyond redemption.) Or I could get a headstart with Google Apps for Education which the school district I work in will be subscribing to next year.
In the end I decided to pursue Google Apps for Education. I am familiar with some of the applications that comprise the suite. I have a Gmail account. I Have used Google docs and have saved documents to my Google Drive. Earlier this year I found online training from Google and only had time to complete the first few introductory units.
I went back and continued with the training. This time I had two goals in mind. First, I wanted to expand my skill set. Second, I wanted to be able to share what I learned with staff and take a leadership role in assisting with the transition to this new medium for communicating with staff, students and parents.
So far the training, which includes links to documents in the help center, video and audio clips and frequent quizzes to check understanding, has covered policy, locating experts, Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Keep, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, Google Groups and more.
Part of the training involved exploring Google Education Groups. These are groups of educators who are using Google Apps for Education. It is a place to share ideas and seek help. I was surprised to discover that there were no groups on the Island. There wasn’t even a single group listed in British Columbia!
I saw this as an opportunity to begin my role as a leader. Google recommended that those wishing to begin a group contact an active group close by. I joined the Google+ Community for the Alberta GEG (Google Educators Group) and asked for advice and a nomination to begin a group on the Island. They kindly directed me to someone whom I am hoping can get the ball rolling. I am also going to get together with some local teachers from pilot schools who are already trying the suite of applications out.
My plan is to complete the free training from Google, collaborate with peers and seek out further open resources that can further my competency with the Google products that will be available to me in the fall. #ThisIsGoingToBeFun
Check out episode 1 of Visible Learning at: