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.
A reaction shared by many!
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?