Monday, April 27, 2015

The 4Cs and Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education has changed how I teach and how my students learn. A few years ago I agreed to pilot Google Drive after spending years using Microsoft Office and Smart Technologies to support teaching and learning. Google was only a search tool that help me find lessons and my students research ideas. My students collaborated on a variety of in class activities, but we rarely collaborated using digital tools. My classroom was very teacher centered. We focused on content first and foremost. 

I won't tell you that I started using Google Drive and I immediately became a different teacher. I was probably a full year before I fully engaged in Google Drive. Today I rarely touch an Office Tool or Smart Notebook file. They are great products but no longer meet the needs of my classroom like Google Apps for Education. 

The change in tools also brought a change in my teaching. Today the activities in my classroom start with the 4 Cs (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity). Google Apps for Education provides me with great set of tools to support these skills. There are other great tools that I use, but most of what we do relies heavily on GAFE.

Since I shifted my classroom to be more learner centered, my own learning has shifted to a great reliance on my personal learning network. I've learned a great deal about Google Apps for Education and a student centered classroom and I am always driven to learning more. I learn the most by sharing, so here are a few resources that I've found or created to support learning in a student centered classroom using Google Apps for Education: