Friday, August 14, 2015

Google Apps for Education and Time

I've had the great opportunity to spend the last two days at the Chicago Public Schools Googlepalooza. I've attended and presented at a variety of Google Apps for Education Conferences and this has been one of my favorites to date. The sessions have connected GAFE to almost every educational buzzword. The presentations and discussions have been both informative and inspiring. I wish more teachers from my district were here with me.

District 204 has been a GAFE district for about 5 years and we have many staff doing some incredible things with the Google Apps for Education Resources at all grade levels. We've placed an emphasis on Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Formative / Summative Assessments in our professional development. We've provided training and support for the tools and the majority of our staff are using a mix of resources connected to Google Sites, Google Drive, and Google Classroom. We are in a good place, but I think we can do more. 

The CPS Googlepalooza has revitalized me to find new ideas to inspire our staff and students to do more with GAFE, but where to start this year? 

I thought about this question last night and landed on the one request I hear most from teachers. Teachers love what they are doing but they need more TIME! (I know I already gave this away with the title, sorry.) In today's world time is at a premium for everyone, but no profession seems to be stretched as thin as teachers. Teachers need more time to learn and grow. 

The next question was how do we give teachers more time without losing time with students and family? While I can't create time (Wouldn't that be a nice superpower?) I can support efficiency. I think we can find some ways to be more efficient with Google Apps for Education and this saved time through efficiency can open the door for teachers to explore and learn.

I decided to start with a simple document about workflow in Google.

I will next begin working on Extensions, Add-ons, and Apps that can save us time. Stay tuned!

What other GAFE resources do you think can help support efficiency and save us time? Please comment below.