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Google time-saving tips to improve student learning

Moderated by Kevin Hogan, eSchool News, Content Director

Experts share strategies to help schools and teachers deliver instruction more effectively with Google tools

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Some schools hoping to stretch their dollar and find success with one-to-one planning and implementation  are turning to Google for Education, a suite of devices, tools, and educational content aimed to increase student engagement while transforming teaching and learning.

On Feb. 20, eSchool News hosted a Google-sponsored webinar  about classroom technology integration, which focused on the benefits of using Google for Education products.

“The conventional thinking on education is no longer enough,” said Kristin Kahlich, a member of the Google for Education Team who helps schools to improve teaching and learning through open and affordable technology. “Google believes that technology is the way to improve education.”

She stressed the importance of continuing to embrace evolving technology in classrooms nationwide, especially because 60 percent of the next generation’s jobs have yet to exist – which suggests that they will be tech-oriented.

(Next page: One district’s Google Chromebook rollout)

Kahlich  outlined Google for Education’s four-pronged approach in improving the quality of school districts’ technological resources: empowering districts, encouraging the use of the right device, facilitating teamwork, and stressing scalability.

As for how schools can get started with going Google, she said they can begin by using any Google core service, devices such as the Google Chromebook, or tablets with the Google Play for Education software.

Council Bluffs Community Schools in Iowa transitioned to Google for Education technology and is on the road to being completely one-to-one with Chromebooks.

Council Bluffs first began to use Google programs for eMail alone, but staff members asked for more access to Google Apps, and over time, the district created a plan to completely switch over to Google for Education. This fall, Council Bluffs will be one-to-one with Chromebooks.

“I think I went out on a limb…when I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’” said David Fringer, the district’s chief technology officer. “Our culture and the school district changed significantly…it’s all been facilitated by the Google suite of products.”

He noted that a key part of the district’s approach had to do with early adopters, including the first 20 faculty members to embrace Google for Education. They later became experts when the rest of Council Bluffs made the switch.

Fringer said that other district tech leaders hoping to convince their administrators that Chromebooks are a good one-to-one option should mention cost-effectiveness. The Google platform itself is inexpensive and many of the tools are free.

Fringer said that internet access and device damage have no been problems for Council Bluffs. Even students without wireless internet at home can find it in places like public libraries, and far fewer devices have been damaged than anticipated–probably because of required student and parent orientations before the rollout of the laptops, he said.

Register now for our free upcoming webinars on a unique one-to-one learning experience with Google tablets and on how campuses can cut costs and protect their database.

Carly Buchanan is an editorial intern at eSchool News.

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