Give a brief explanation of your project.
The use of Google Suite along with Chromebooks is being trialed through engagement in English classes, Business Management and Tutor Time. We have secured five Chromebooks through the Digital Fund and supplemented these with an additional ten bought through support from the Parent Council. Three members of staff attended the Google for Education training day in Kingussie in order to generate ideas for how the Google Suite may be introduced to their classrooms. This also provided a core group of staff with a working knowledge of how the physical hardware of the Chromebooks effectively interacts with the software included in the Google Suite, enabling them to be first points of contact with other staff.
Tutor Time is being used to introduce the use of Chromebooks to a select number of pupils who will be early adopters of the technology within the school. These pupils will form the basis of a lead group who will cascade to staff, peers and parents on their experiences with the technology.
The use of the Chromebooks in subject specific environments is designed to be an introduction of the practical applications of Chromebooks in classes around the school. The use of Google Classroom and other features of the Google Suite are to be introduced before the distribution of Chromebooks across the school in order to ensure a smooth transition and a staged approach to a digital learning environment.
How has the technology enhanced learning and teaching within your school/department?
Initial pupil engagement with the technology has been focused on the potential of the devices for collaborative work and formative assessment.
In an Advanced Higher English class, for example, pupils benefitted from the collaborative nature of the Google Suite, and particularly Google Docs in preparing for classroom tasks. Once in the classroom, the use of the Chromebook devices ensured that there was a seamless transition from work done in study periods and at home to work which was being carried on in the classroom.
Pupils have expressed an interest in using Chromebooks and the Google Suite for self-reflection and recording their learning. This has been duly noted and will become a key focus on the development of Chromebook use in Tutor Time through the pilot development of E-Portfolios. The user friendly nature of the technology has so far ensured that pupils not only adapt to the Chromebooks, but actively embrace them and seek out ways to develop their use in the classroom.
The development of these core groups of users is key to the future rollout of the Chromebooks, as it is our intention to put teaching and learning firmly in the ownership of pupils through pupil led training sessions for staff and the community.
Any tips for other schools looking to do a similar project?
Begin with small, core groups. Pupils are often leaders in understanding technology and use this to your advantage when exploring the possibilities presented by its use.
Next steps for the project...
Embed the use of Chromebooks in Tutor Time. Review and consolidate the progress being made with the introduction of the Google Suite in English and Business Management and decide how to appropriately begin incorporating Chromebooks into both subjects.
Engage wider community of staff in the use of the Google Suite and exemplify how it is currently being used. Emphasise the importance of the Chromebook in fulfilling the full learning potential of the Google Suite.
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