Google Classroom Goes Live at WRDSB

This has definitely been a week of anticipation.  I am always excited for CATC Camp,  our summer self directed, self paced learning opportunity for staff that focuses on technology enabled learning, effective use of digital tools and digital resources.

The first two days of camp have been awesome!  Based on an email I received from Google on Monday of this week,  I also knew that we were getting close,  REALLY  close on the activation of the Google Classroom feature of our GAFE (Google Apps for Educators) environment.  I had been sporadically checking all week … not yet … not yet. I tried once more just before supper tonight – not yet. I was beginning to feel like this was the watched tea kettle that wouldn’t boil.

As we were setting up for our post dinner newstime, I thought why not try one last time for today. YIKES – there is was – installed and active. It felt like Christmas in August, and was SO MUCH FUN making the surprise announcement to our CATC Camp attendees. I wished I had thought to record the reaction in the room – instant energy, excitement and applause.

Well, this was a perfect opportunity to offer a quick tour and orientation for interested staff. No problem –  Andrew Bieronski jumped into action and provided a nice spontaneous workshop.  In the 75 minutes following the announcement, staff were tweeting, re-tweeting about the announcement, sharing and exploring.  Some went ahead and set up their 14/15 classes and added the first student assignment.  My initial observation was that Google Classroom  was easy & intuitive to use,  and that support needs would be minimal.

Andrew Bieronski

A reaction shared by many!

Making Discoveries

 

I am looking forward to implementing this tool for classroom educators in our system.   Now, I wonder what the next WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit will look like?

~Mark

Important Voices

Today started with a great conversation over breakfast.  I was sitting with Harry Niezen,  Donna Fry and  George Couros.  The question on the table was who are the big names to follow in education these days?

social_interactions     Photo from http://goo.gl/EG8KAi

After some healthy discussion, of a few of the traditional big names the conversation drifted to a new perspective. Why do we need to focus on the “big names”?   Many educators are bloggers. These educators are openly sharing ideas, reflections, visions and questions.

Why would we pay attention to one perspective?  Why not read, share, comment and reflect on the viewpoints of active connected educators who are putting their thinking ‘out there’ for everyone to access?

Where do you stand?  The one (or few) or the many?

Share your comments here or connect on Twitter.

~Mark

Related Resources

OSSEMOOC
Ontario Bloggers via @dougpete

Learning is Messy

This post is a cross post from my original in the  OSSEMOOC  June 2014, 30 days of collaborative blogging “Picture and Post” series.

In some ways, this picture says it all.

learning_is_social

On the other hand,  maybe not.

I think the real question is:  what does is look like in the classroom? – or the work place for that matter.  Rows of cubicles are no different than rows of desks.  Learning, and collaborating, in messy mode requires a shift.

How do we build greater comfort and capacity to let go,  let the messiness happen and let the students/staff benefit from less control and increased socialization?

Please share.  What does this look like, sound like and feel like in your classroom or work space?

~Mark

Connect, Learn, Reflect, Share: Make a Difference Today

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