Our 12 month GAFE Journey – From Zero to Hero
At the Melbourne Summit in 2013 St Francis Xavier Primary School was new to Google Apps For Education. Since then they have successfully implemented GAFE for all staff and students in Year 1 – 6 and a 1:1 Chromebook program in Year 5 & 6. Drive, Calendar, Sites, Gmail and Google+ are now embedded into their school culture. In this session Corey will outline how his school is using these tools and the steps and strategies he used to transform the teaching and learning through GAFE.
Implementing Chromebooks in our Schools
The implementation of Chromebooks at St Francis Xavier has opened up a world of new possibilities in Learning and Teaching. These cost effective devices are designed for the Google Apps ecosystem and are easily managed from the Admin Console. This has allowed our school to implement a 1:1 program in Years 5 & 6 this year and in 2015 this program will extend to Years 3 – 6. In this session I will introduce the Chromebook and outline how simple it is to enrol the device, set up policies and push out apps and extensions. This job does not have to be left for your technician. Any teacher with access to the Admin Console will be able to manage these devices.
Google Apps For Education (GAFE) is a suite of powerful applications. The entire ecosystem breathes the key aspects of 21st Century Learning & Teaching qualities; create, collaborate, communicate, capture and connect.
By incorporating the native GAFE tools into my role as a PE Teacher I have developed a more efficient and effective workflow.
- Autocrat Templates (explained in Forms)
I do all my planning in Docs. This is fantastic as it allows me to access the latest version of documents where ever I am and on any device. Being able to access my planning documentation on my iPad or iPhone means I can check lesson details between classes and when on the run. I simply share my planning with the school leadership team so they always have an up-to-date copy and can give me feedback.
- Carnival Entries
- Interschool Sport Preferences
- Self Assessment
- Peer Assessment
- Teacher Feedback
- Reflection of Units
I absolutely love Forms. PE Teacher’s are always collecting information from students. This use to mean receiving piles of paper with student information needing to be collated into a manageable format prior to events. Using Forms, I create the template and questions, send out to students, and all responses are presented neatly in a Spreadsheet as soon as submitted. I then manipulate this data to put together start lists, teams etc. Literally saving myself hours!
Having students self assess themselves and their peers is a great way for them to take ownership and independence of their learning. I ask questions aligned with the learning intentions and success criteria for the lesson / unit. I use a variety of scale, checkboxes or choose from a list question types so students have to decide where they sit on the continuum. Students use an iPad to fill in what they believe to be a true indication of the skill performance. Again, once submitted this is instantly sent to a Spreadsheet in my Drive for me to view.
Honest teacher feedback from students is one of the biggest indicators to continually develop and improve teaching pedagogy. Setting up a Form for students to give lesson feedback enables myself to reflect on what I can change, improve, continue to do that engages and gets the most out of the students.
When using Forms, I combine it with the power of Autocrat. Autocrat is a Script that merges cells from the Spreadsheet into a Doc template that is then emailed to the student. All completed instantly when the student submits the Form. This allows the student to have a record of the sports or events they have selected, assessments, or feedback. Depending on the purpose, these Docs can then be used in students blogs and / or portfolios.
- Sport Events
I use Calendar to inform the school community of upcoming sporting events. I don’t actually share this, instead I have embedded it into the PE Blog. Students and families are able to view in agenda form a list of dates of events. When an event is clicked on more details drop down with further information including exact times and venues.
Google Drive App
On each of the PE iPads is the Google Drive app. Any photos, video analysis or work completed by the students can be saved directly to their individual GAFE account. Students can then access these files from any device and complete assigned tasks.
These are some ways I have used GAFE in my Physical Education program. The possibilities of what you can achieve is very much up to your imagination. The reduced workload and improved workflow is what make GAFE such a great set of tools.
How are you using Google Apps For Education in your Physical Education program?
Morning Fitness takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning for 10mins from 8.50am – 9.00am. This program allows students to participate in extra structured physical activity outside of their weekly Physical Education and Sport lessons.
The program provides students with activities that allow them to:
- Be physically active
- Develop fundamental motor skills
- Promote cooperative teamwork skills
- Develop confidence
We have seen many benefits from this program including:
- Students eager to get school to take part in these activities
- Students being more alert for the start of their formal lessons
- Students learning new games that they can use at recess and lunch with their friends
Each class is timetabled a different activity each week. The classroom teachers facilitate these sessions ensuring all students are actively involved.
At the start of each term the activities change to keep students enthused about Morning Fitness.
This term all activities require no equipment. This is fantastic from an organisational point of view as no equipment needs to be collected and passed on to the next class. When equipment is required to be moved between classes I utilise the assistance of the Year 6 Health & Physical Education Leaders.
In my role as eLearning Coordinator I am responsible for the deployment and integration of iPads into the classroom.
I have a fleet of 42 iPads shared throughout the school. To manage the deployment of Apps and device settings I use Meraki. This is a fantastic tool for the Mobile Device Management of our iPads.
With hundreds of thousands of Apps available in the Apple App Store it is a daunting task to try to compile a suitable list for classroom use.
The three major points I look for when selecting an App are;
- How is the App going to help the student achieve the lessons learning intention
Is the teacher able to assess the students work
Is the teacher able to give feedback to the student
Many educational Apps allow for rote learning of specific tasks to take place with lots of buzzing lights and sounds to keep students engaged. This can be great, but at the end of the lesson what has the student produced to allow for teacher assessment and feedback. I do see a time and place for Apps of this nature, but I focus on deploying Apps that can be used across numerous curriculum areas to produce a piece of work.
I want teachers to see the iPad as a tool they can use to support their teaching pedagogy.
I want students to be creative when using iPads, producing work they can evaluate and analysis to enhance their learning.
Here is the Core List of Apps I have put together over the last year that are now on all iPads;
The Google Chromebook is a fantastic device. It is fully functional from turn on in under 10 seconds, has a battery life of up to 7 hours, and is able to perform roughly 90% of all things we would ask of a PC. With a price tag around the $350 mark, they are a very cost effective measure allowing schools to get devices into the hands of students.
The Chromebook compliments the use of Google Apps For Education which many schools are now taking advantage of. Coupled with the management system within the Google Administration Console it allows devices to be easily managed.
What is a Chromebook?
After trialling 3 devices last year, my school has decided to go 1:1 Chromebooks in our Year 6 classrooms for 2014. I look forward to seeing the work these students and teachers are able to achieve this year.
Enroling each Chromebook into the Google Administration Console allows you to have full control over policy settings, network details, and apps and extensions for each organisation you have set up in your GAFE account. Once your details are set in the Administration Console, enroling a device does not take long at all. In a couple of hours, I had 50 devices enrolled and ready for student use.
Below are guidelines to enable enrolment to take place. I work in a Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN) school so some settings are only applicable to schools within this network. All other details are suitable for anyone that is looking to enrol Chromebooks into the Google Administration Console.
Thank you to Jenny Luca (@jennyluca) and Mitch Miller (@cruisingmiller). Your sessions at the 2013 Melbourne GAFE Summit enlightened me to the power of Chromebooks. Your ongoing assistance and expertise during the set up phase has been so valuable and much appreciated.