Students and teachers in our district are fortunate to have Google Applications for Education available as a powerful learning tool. For the past several years, the district has taken advantage of cloud computing in a variety of ways, not only with Google Apps, but also with blogs, wikis, SchoolWebLockers, and more. By providing these tools under the district’s umbrella and associating them with our teachers and students, collaboration is easier than ever.
There are ample opportunities to communicate and collaborate within the district as well as anytime/anywhere teachers or students have an internet connection. Examples of powerful “in the cloud” Google Apps collaborations include middle school student writing, science, and social studies projects; interactive marine biology collaborations; online presentations; science research; art portfolios and more.
Last May, Google awarded the district 35 units of the CR-48 Chromebook, the predecessor to the now commercially available Chromebooks produced by Samsung and Acer. These units were used by students in North High School and Felix Festa Middle School. As a result of the positive experiences and high level of student engagement and collaboration, the middle school will utilize three mobile Chromebook labs, and North High School’s science department will have a mobile lab of 30 CR-48 Chromebooks. Next year promises to be one of increasingly student centered learning opportunities that are engaging, purposeful, and aligned to our district’s mission. The best is yet to come!