On my mind:

My brain is full of thoughts today, but I need to get them out. This post will be random and maybe a little scattered, so heads up.

I’ve been completely occupied with my Google Apps push. We would benefit from technology changes in my school (we are above average but there’s room for growth), and my teachers have been very on board with this idea. I’m really trying to be realistic about this. Being realistic isn’t my natural state of mind, so I’ve really been trying to approach this from every possible angle. I had a really good discussion with my district tech guy, who is great about engaging in conversation with me about this type of thing and willing to take the time to talk it out/explain things to me when needed.

The biggest issue that I’ve foreseen is the email issue. I’ve been thinking that launching Docs first and going from there would be the best route. I don’t want us to prematurely go all in, have things get rocky, and have everyone bail on the idea. I know that no matter what, there are going to be problems — students will push the limits and take advantage, trying to get away with as much as they can. That’s just what middle schoolers do. We would have to set the guidelines, stick with them, and enforce them. But we all know that’s much easier said than done.

In my mind, it all boils down to teaching the kids to be smart online. We give them too much credit because they get out there (fearlessly) and figure things out — they are not computer/Internet experts, not by a long shot. Obviously it is our job to teach them necessary content and skills. But the world is changing. We’ve got to teach them to be effective users, synthesizers, and creators of information. Do this by integrating it in with core content — duh. But once again, easier said than done. A major shift has to happen. I get upset when I feel like we are selling our students short, when I know that they aren’t being equipped with the important tools and skills that they need. I don’t know how or when a major change is going to go down, but if a change in the fundamental ways we “do school” doesn’t happen, I’m afraid of what type of citizens schools will produce.

Being someone who things about this so much, wants positive change so bad, there are days that I could make myself crazy over it all. I know where I want to see my school, I see schools who are there, but the actual task in creating a movement to bring about change is overwhelming. Where do you start? What’s the priority? How do you get others to overcome the fear to see what could be?

That’s the current state of my brain. And now the sun is setting, so it’s time to unplug and take the next 24 hours to recharge.

2 thoughts on “On my mind:

  1. Hi,
    I am the library technician for the school district I work at. At this moment we are in the middle of transitioning to Google Apps for education. So far it has been very positive. Last year we switched to a new email system (SoGo) and the staff have not been happy with it. I think the staff in our district are all very happy to be moving onto something else.
    Our media specialist here have already begun to get excited about using Google sites, Google docs, Google forms, ect… It saves paper and the kids enjoy doing worksheets with Google forms. Next year the media specialists will be creating website within Google for each grade level, that can only be seen by those who have access, for the students to edit and add content. Each teacher will be notified the moment any modifications are made to the site so they moderate what goes up.
    I wanted to share our experience with using Google Apps for education as it has so far been very positive. We love it!

    1. Katie, thank you SO much for sharing! It’s good to hear positive feedback from someone who is actually making the move. All of the information that Google provides is great, but I’d rather hear from someone that’s really in the trenches using Apps.

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