Google Apps for Education Summit - Parklands College - Cape Town - September 2013
Site seeing presentation
Demo slam presentation
MY GOOGLE SITES
This was the first Google Site that I built as an ICT teacher and was used primarily as a platform where my students would access their ICT lesson content on a weekly basis. This was where my site building learning began and it was really REALLY text heavy :-P
I bought my first domain in 2012 and built thattechteacher.com. This was a more user friendly version of louwding which also hosted lesson content but in a far more multi-media format. thattechteacher now hosts my blog and is a site I still use and update for integration specific content.
In 2011 my two Grade 6 classes created a collaborative website as a communication portal through which to share their lives at Somerset House, in Somerset West with a group of students in Kigali, Rwanda. THis was part of the Make A DIfference outreach programme.
Also in 2011, as part of a flipped classroom project, my Grade 7s were required to watch at least one TED talk a week; they were expected to watch and review the talk at home and create their own TED-like talk in class using various online technologies.
This is one of the NGOs that I assisted in setting up a Google Apps account. The organisation had never had a website, so as part of my volunteer work, I designed and built this site. This experience was really valuable as it was the first time I worked with Google Apps outside of my personal life and classroom.
As part of my role at Edunova, I lead the Learning Centre Development Model. As part of this role, I have developed a knowledge building and documenting process to record the model and associated learning. This website is where the documenting and reporting takes place.
Another Edunova Learning Centre, as part of the Duncan Village project, just outside East London in the Eastern Cape, is being documented on this Google Site. This website is still very young, and is being collaboratively developed by the project team.
Earlier this year, Edunova started going Google and registered a Google Apps for Education account for our domain. As part of the transition process, the tech team built our own support wiki. Here we collected some introductory resources for the organisation's going Google process.
My Google Journey
People who know me well - professionally and personally - describe my relationship with Google products as ‘obsessive’. In 2006, during my final year at university, I got my first gmail account and for a few years I was probably a pretty average Gmail and Google search user. In 2010, I began using Google calendar and docs; relative to many, I was probably a late bloomer in this regard.
It was in 2011, during my first year of teaching ICT, that the Google bug really bit. I planned my lessons in Docs, presented them from the first Google Site I ever made, collated marks in Spreadsheets and even did some online assessments using forms. But I very quickly realised the limitations of using a personal account for teaching and school purposes. That was when I found out about Google Apps for Education - I researched and motivated for its implementation at our school, but we weren't quite ready to go there, so I signed up for a personal Google Apps account with 10 free users, purchased a domain (my first ever), designed a new website and took my teaching to the next level. By mid-2012, I’d unofficially deployed Google Apps into my ICT curriculum, taught mail and docs to 200 learners and sites to 100. Google Apps gave me the perfect platform and set of tools to teach real integrated ICT. Since then, I have initiated, deployed and supported two other Google Apps accounts, both for NGOs; last year at Stellemploy and at the beginning of this year, Edunova began its transition into the cloud.
Technically and relative to others, my use of Google Apps (for Education) is probably still quite low level, but I am completely dependent on it; my life - personal and professional - as far as it can be, has been migrated to the cloud! On a daily basis, I experience the incredible power and value that all the Google Apps tools I use have to offer. The latest addition to my set of Google tools is my AWESOME Samsung Chromebook; this powerful and affordable computer has been another incredible step in my Google journey - one which I’m sure will be educational and positive for years to come.