Over the past four years, Google Apps has become a cornerstone of the district’s digital toolbox, with the specific goal of increasing student engagement and achievement through their purposeful use. Adopted for this purpose in 2009 by the District’s technology committee, the strategic use of Google Apps to support learning and collaboration has been encouraged through a multitude of professional development opportunities including two Google Ambassador programs, 24/12 projects, Viking Institute sessions, and numerous school based and after school workshops. Ongoing professional development from beginners to seasoned experts will continue through the 2012-13 school year.
The District has received national recognition, and our teachers have presented at regional and national conferences to share how they use Google Apps with their students. As part of this recognition of excellence, six have presented at Google’s New York headquarters, and three were featured in a video produced by Google (starts at 1:26). In these national presentations, which featured elementary mathematics, middle school social studies, middle school science, high school science and high school art, our teachers shared the ways in which their infusion of Google Apps transformed their classrooms. Clarkstown’s administrators have also presented on the power of this collaborative tool, including national conferences such as ASCD, ISTE, and NSDC.
The short video above, though intended for small businesses, provides a snapshot into what Google Apps is all about. There are some differences in our district’s use of Apps (for example, it’s free to us rather than the $5/month/user mentioned in the video), but the video, should serve as an adequate overview of the tools available to our teachers and students.