Google Teacher Academy 2012

Google have offered another chance for educators to become a Google certified teacher. The application involves creating a one minute video on one of two themes provided by Google. The themes are “Classroom Innovation” and “Motivation”. I chose to focus on the former and created a video looking at the new innovation spreading through education, the flipped classroom.

Having offered my classroom for the Flipped Classroom open house on 30 January 2012 it seemed sensible to focus on this innovation. Since my last post regarding the flipped classroom a couple of my classes have become fairly familiar with the concept and show no shock, concern or trepidation when they are set homework which requires them to research/prepare for topics via videos I have created in order to focus on higher order skills in the following lesson. My lesson evaluation Google form has been essential for responding to the student’s needs and reflecting on how the flipped classroom can work best for my classes.

I almost didn’t submit my effort as I made the mistake of looking at the competition… wow! Some people’s application videos are technical masterpieces other have a large contribution from their students and colleagues. But after my colleague (@talktofile) had a word with me I made a last minute drive to submit something that made a attempt to showcase my efforts in the flipped classroom.

Why do I want to be Google certified?

I use Google documents constantly for myself, for faculty and with students for collaboration so a chance to work more closely with Google on education may develop my use of the products I already value.

I want my school to go Google so email, resource sharing, blogging and many other services can come under one login. Also if the students could have access to Google documents without me asking them all to create accounts it would make the collaboration in class much more successful.

#ukedchat takes place through twitter every Thursday from 8pm until 9pm and allows educators to subit their experience and views on a chosen topic. On Thursday 16 February the topic was “technology on a shoestring” and the conversation was very thought provoking and something I hope leaders of #edtech in schools pay attention to. Google Docs came out as a favourable free alternative to help schools have effective edtech that represents value for money, or value for learning…

@peterweal: @MrG_ICT agree VLEs surplus to goggle docs and blogs. No brainer. #ukedchat

@MrG_ICT: Agree Google docs is amazing collaborative tool. and free. Many primaries spending thousands on VLEs and not using #ukedchat

@GeorgeEBlack: #ukedchat one thing I do know, a well administered set of free blogs does the job of a VLE any day.

@mattbritland: #ukedchat The use of google docs or other cloud applications stops the need to constantly updating office software.

My Google based vision

I’d like to aim for:

  • A set of chromebooks which students can use their school based Google account to login to. The login process on a chromebook take seconds.
  • A class blog page which students contribute to on a rotating timetable each lesson, sharing the task/topic/progress and any pictures or videos as necessary. This would provide a log of all our lessons and would solve any problems for students that have any time out of class for support or illness.
  • A faculty Google site where staff can share ideas and resources with each other. It also contains links to all our shared Google documents. This would include schemes of work, assessment tasks, project tasks etc. The site can also have a varity of Google forms embedded which allow teachers to log positives and concerns for students, and many other proceedural issues that can be managed more easily in this way.
  • Students can use their Google Calender to enter exam dates, deadlines and would be very effectvie for organising group collaboration outside of the classroom by scheduling time to be online to work on a Google document together, inviting participants.

Hardware and software made specifically for education offers no value for money. Having a developer of the size of Google involved in education can keep schools closer to technology that represents developments in the real world rather than relying on a few innovative teachers to provide ad hoc opportunities which involve excessive time to prepare in order to avoid any technical or appropriate use of technology issues.

I have not yet found an effective way of using Google+ in education.

Back to the flipped classroom

The flipped classroom would be more effective if it could be integrated in such a way that schemes of work are available to students and parents as well as teachers. Cloud based storage allows documents to be updated regularly but avoid everyone having out-of-date copies littering their hardrives. Feedback and communication can be improved by allowing parents access to markbooks, something a colleague of mine has achieved by transferring his markbooks to Google Docs.

Am I being paid by Google

No, even though this blog post may be a little bias towards using one companies versions of things that can be achieved in a number of ways. I am a great fan of Wikispaces (I have created many) and blog via WordPress so I do not promote using one supplier but in the classroom setting where I have been asking my students to create logins for a variety of tasks I think they would value a coordinated structure to the variety of technology that can be used to enhance their education.

If any other provider wishes to show me how I can integrate this vision in another way… I am all ears.

Advertisements