Google Apps – A reflection on PD: 18/8 Diocesan School for Girls (Auckland)

Written by admin

Topics: Education, Google, Leadership, Technology

So, today saw me taking a day out from school to drive up to Auckland for an immersive day with Google Apps. The day was a big success and although I took just a few things away with me it was great to start developing my PLN here in New Zealand. The day was facilitated by Mike Reading, a Certified Google Apps Edu Trainer and Certified Google Teacher. You can find out more about him and his work here.

Mike REading - Google Apps for Education Specialist

Our facilitator for the day

Mike started his initial sessions with the First World Problems video

A great icebreaker to start the morning! The up shot? – Creating a culture of engagement in schools is key to developing a culture of learning and achievement So, what about BYOD? Mike made some interesting points about schools that mandate a device for school are not actually representing a true BYOD policy. We need to get away from focusing the technology and focusing on the pedagogy and practice. How can the various tools we have access to via technology facilitate learning?

There needs to be focus on developing software skills that are skilling students for the future. It is less about software, hardware and equity and more about finding a platform and springboard into learning and the new opportunities that this may bring. Effective learners need intrinsic motivation, this requires autonomy and for a student, autonomy means choice. So how do we give students choice within the realms of the curriculum?

Mike brought in to play the famous quote from Steve jobs – “What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed by technology”. We need to see a shift in thinking and secure opportunities that are valued by the learner. Indeed, some schools are taking some ideas from industry – introducing the notion of 20% time. Students have 20% available of the week to work on whatever educational work has value to them.

Mastery – An educational conundrum is that students do not see themselves as making progress due to the incremental change taking place. As a result they live in a world of frustration and we need a way of providing feedback to students and show them that they are progressing. Technology allows us to show progression easily. Why is it that students engage in computer games but not when using technology in the curriculum? It is all to do with feedback. Games are built around progression, have feedback loops (Computer games give negative feedback every 7.4 seconds, positive feedback every 1.4 seconds). As a result GoogleDocs can kick mastery out of the park.

Purpose – How can we use technology to place extra value on work?

It was great to meet up with everyone today and I hope that there will be lots of good ideas that stem out of the day that can be shared. The day certainly inspired me, with a few reflective blogs being posted during the day.

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