Having attended the Google Teacher Academy UK in 2010, at Christmas I went to a meeting at Google for Google Certified Teachers and Trainers. At this meeting they shared their intention that this year they are going to be working on their support for education.
Back in 2010 Google Apps for Education was just getting started in many schools, now the whole of Norfolk have gone over to using Apps for their online learning environment, many individual schools are following suit, and the Google Chromebooks are being marketed as a way of getting the benefits of cloud based devices into education.
Google’s intention to ramp up their activities in the education sector was also evident in their first significant presence at the BETT education technology show last week. Their impressive stand was buzzing for most of the show, perhaps partly because they were something new in a sea of familiar stands. Throughout the show they had presentation from real educators who are using Google tools to support learning, notably an amazing presentation from children from Ian Addison’s school, who shared how they had been creating their own websites, and even teaching staff at their school how to do the same.
A second Google Teacher Academy UK is taking place in April, and applications for interested teachers are now open. Head over to the GTA site to find out how to get involved.
As part of the programme of presentations, I was asked to share some stories of my own use of Google Apps in primary education. Below is a video of my presentation, in which I shared how being responsive to children’s interests allowed us to develop the use of Google Sites to share those interests well beyond our classroom.
Photo: (cc) Ian Usher