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Slide Notes

Can you please start by filling out the Google Form that can be found in the document attached to this presentation. This is needed for later on in the presentation. http://goo.gl/qnamqO
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Introducing Google Apps One Win at a Time

Published on Nov 18, 2015

For some Google Apps for Education simply offers a more efficient way of doing what is already being done, while for others the idea of collaborating and moving to the cloud is a game changer. Although it is essential to develop a clear implementation plan, it is also important to find the small wins along the way which helps demonstrate the way that Google can revolutionise the way we collaborate and communicate in and out of the classroom. From conducting surveys, to creating digital workbooks, to managing learning goals, to sharing presentations, to developing digital community, this presentation will be jam packed with practical samples and examples. Aaron hopes to spur on new ideas and start the conversation about what you can do in your school to make change.


Introducing Google Apps

One Win at a Time
Can you please start by filling out the Google Form that can be found in the document attached to this presentation. This is needed for later on in the presentation. http://goo.gl/qnamqO

This is not a top-down presentation

I just have a few disclaimers to get out of the way early. Firstly, this is not a top-down presentation. I am not going to tell you how to implement Google across the whole school from leadership down.
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This is not some digital panacea

Another point, this is not some sort of digital panacea. Too often we think that technology will magically solve all our problems in (and out) of the classroom. In my view, it won't. Technology often only amplifies what is already there.
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Ideals are not always ideal

To me, ideals are not always ideal. Too often we say, if only we had this or could do that. However, when we arrive at the this Shangri-la, we discover that instead the dream has changed and that there is some other new tool to tease us. Although it is important to dream and dream big, at some point our efforts need to turn to finding pragmatic solutions for the now. Such dreams should drive us, but never to the point where we forget about the present.
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I am not a ninja

Confession, I am not a ninja. I do not live and breathe Google. I am not going to stand up here and tell you how to use various add-ons to maximise your use of Google Apps, how to make the most out of various applications by messing with the script or provide a systematic guide as to how to use this or that. The reality is, I know what I know and like everyone else I explore and experiment when I hit a snag. If you want such a session, go see someone like Chris Betcher or Nicole Dalesio.
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"Too often, we wait until we see what something does before we decide what we built it for."

In a post Seth Godin recently made the point, "Too often, we wait until we see what something does before we decide what we built it for." I think that is so true and although we need to know what Google Apps can do, it is just as important to start with our own teaching and learning and ask what Google Apps can enable and make more possible,
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It takes a village

Wherever it is, change involves more than one person making all the decisions. It takes a dialogue. Dan Donahoo made the point at ICTEV13 last year that if you bring in a new program or initiative and nothing changes from the first idea then something was wrong. For although we may have a great idea, it needs to involve other voices or else there will be very little buy-in. For it takes a compromise, it takes a village.
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This session is about you

The reality is, this session is about you. It is about what you are doing in your classroom. I am happy to share all day long about what I am doing, what worked, what didn't etc etc. However, that does not necessarily help you in your situation, back at your school, in your classroom.
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Making communication and collaboration more doable

So today I am going to share some ways that from the ground up I have used Google Apps to make some that seemed impossible possible. As Bill Ferriter suggests, "technology lowers barriers, making the kinds of higher order learning experiences that matter infinitely more doable." I really like that idea. Instead of getting caught up in discussions about transformation and change, technology instead makes more 'doable' what great teachers have always been doing. Here then are some of my examples:
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Digital Workbooks

One of the biggest problems with student workbooks is that if you want to check them then you need to collect them. Using a Google Doc to create a digital workbook not only means that a teacher can 'collect' them whenever they like, but it also provides a means for dialogue between staff and students through the ‘comments’ function.

Reading Goals

Too often reading goals are dictated by teachers and never really recorded by students. One solution to this is to create a Google Doc and not only share it with students, but also other teachers. This is especially significant when conferencing is not left upto one solitary teacher.


In addition to allowing for collaboration, using Google Slides to share a presentation allows students to critically engage with ideas and information, without using a million sticky notes. What is significant is this dialogue allows for a conversation that in the past was often haphazard or left to chance.

Quizzes and Surveys

One of the easiest things to introduce when it comes to Google Apps is Forms. In the past giving out a survey and collating the results would have taken hours. Whether it be PE skills classification, feedback for a teacher or self-assessment, forms allows staff and students to ascertain information and present it in a second.

Curriculum Document

Using Docs for curriculum documents not only allows people to collaboratively add information, something that can be really important during planning session. It also allows for an ongoing conversation about what did and did not work as they go along.


Another interesting idea when it comes to Google Apps is using Google+ to engage with members in and out of the school. Since the demise of the Melton 21st Century Learning Network at the end of last year, Sam Irwin and I have actually created a community as a way of connecting teachers from various schools in the area. Where as in the past we waited for our meeting each term, now we get responses instantly.

Shared Document

One really simple thing that I have done with Google Apps is to use Sheets to collate all the different choices in regards to progression points. In the past, coordinators would be sent a spreadsheet. This would then be sent back and collated. Other than the tedious nature of this, many staff wanted to know what other year levels had put down, this therefore allowed it.

What about you and your situation?

Crowd-sourcing a Resource

That is all good. I have outlined some of the small wins that I have made. However, the more important question is 'what about you?' How are you using Google Apps in your situation or more importantly, how could you see yourself using Google Apps in your situation? I have created a Slide to share and collect some of these ideas together for the smartest person in the room is the room, so lets listen to all of those voices and see what we can create.

Reflection http://goo.gl/Jazxu2

I would dearly love your thoughts and reflections in this short survey http://goo.gl/Jazxu2