Our successful migration to GAFE has further energized our staff and provided an effective platform that can be used at every grade level. We have teachers that are now Google Certified Educators and using GAFE daily. We will have teachers attending GAFE summits to become our very own Google experts. Teachers will have access to K12 Boost and other digital resources.
ACSC will be making efforts to bring 1:1 to all students Grades K-6. ACSC is not looking to replace teachers with technology but put them at the center of it all. We will not look to find an LMS product, but use GAFE to make every teacher the LMS. We will continue to push and develop a culture that adapts to and utilizes new technology to better prepare our students.
ACSC was approved once again to participate in Indiana DOE E-Learning Flex Days and the Inclement Weather Virtual Option program. The ever-changing landscape of digital products proved to be a challenge last spring with My Big Campus’ exit.
During that time we evaluated other LMS options of all types and flavors. As a team we found that we liked some features but not others. Rather than choosing a specific LMS, we chose to focus on the person that would have to use the LMS, the teachers. We have set out to make each teacher the LMS rather than teach each teacher how to use a specific LMS. We found Google Apps For Education (GAFE) to meet our specific needs. GAFE allows for a modular approach to the use of technology in the classrooms. Teachers are able to deliver content through various ways within the use of GAFE. GAFE allows teachers to pick and chose a la carte what works for them. The continued push for GAFE integration makes our goal of the paperless classroom possible.
We asked teachers and staff to make a transition to GAFE less than 3 months to the start of a new year. We have set the motto of “just another day in class” during our E-Learning days. The mindset of “just another day” is simply to make technology use a part of their everyday lessons and activities. The daily use of technology in each classroom removes any special preparations for E-Learning Days. It is just another day in class whether they are in our buildings or at home. We have shifted to a platform and that allows for anywhere and everywhere access for both teachers and students. The ideal scenario in the worst circumstances would be for our teachers to have class through the use of cloud/web services and the devices provided to staff and students.
We have great teachers working on PBL projects on topics like Civil Rights. Students are using their laptops to research and complete Google Slide presentations they will present to their class. Teachers are utilizing Google Classroom to distribute assignments and resources. Teachers use online tools such as Math IXL, Superkids, goformative and Showbie daily to complete quizzes and assignments. During their simulated E-Learning day’s assignments are posted on Google sites or emailed for easy access to students and parents. Printed math worksheets have given way to web apps like Math IXL and Xtra math . Teachers use Newsela and have students answer comprehension questions regularly. Communication with students has changed with the use of Gmail and Google Classroom.
Teachers are using GAFE daily for assignments, communication and content creation. Each teacher has a Google Site where they share their class calendar and information with students and parents. Students receive and submit assignments through Google Classroom daily. Teachers are available through email throughout the regular school day and all day during E-Learning Days. Highschool Cube, Doceri and YouTube videos are used throughout each subject matter and are delivered to students through the use their devices and the internet.
Technology at ACSC has always been a priority and valuable asset. Prior to our 1:1 Moodle was used in Language Arts and a World language Lab was in place. In 2009 former AHS students completed a Post Graduate Survey. These students had completed some form of college level courses. The feedback received indicated that students felt that more online delivery and access to web based tools were needed to prepare them for life after high school. This prompted the discussion and the eventual implementation of our 1:1 initiative.
This was our first year of 1:1 deployment. Initially it was planned to only take place in two grade levels at the high school. It grew to all grade levels at the high school. The High School would go from having five computer labs of approx. 125 workstations to a site of 300+ laptops. A new wireless infrastructure to support all the devices was installed. At the elementary we deployed iPads in Kindergarten and a new wireless network was installed.
The devices were only as effective as the method of using them in the classrooms. My Big Campus (MBC) offered a medium to deliver content, communicate, collaborate and share resources. Students would be in the MBC classes and teachers were able to send assignments and students submit assignments completely digitally from anywhere with an Internet connection.
AHS was selected as pilot participant in the Indiana E-Learning Flex Days program. During the E-Learning days (4 days) students were to interact with their teachers and complete their lessons and assignments through My Big Campus. The 1:1 devices allowed teachers to have class virtually and be available to their students for instruction. This offered an opportunity for our teachers to “Flip their classrooms”. Additionally, teachers were able to receive professional development during the school day while the students were at home. Attica was privileged to host a regional MBC workshop for area educators during one of our eLearning Days. Attica teachers participated in the workshop in morning and communicated with their students during the afternoon.
During the summer of 2013 over 90% of ACSC teachers attended the Indiana Department of Education’s Summer of eLearning Conferences held around the state. ACSC was approved to participate in Indiana E-Learning Flex Days program. AHS student devices were refreshed at two grade levels. The AHS student devices that were refreshed were cycled down to Grades 5-6. Students at AES used MBC in their classrooms for the first time to complete lessons and assignments. Various web-based resources were integrated into their daily lessons.
ACSC was approved once again to participate in Indiana DOE E-Learning Flex Days and the Inclement Weather Virtual Option program. Resident experts were created to provide support and professional development. The groups include: Google Apps for Education, Student Data, Marzano Vocabulary, Harmony (SIS), PBL, Flipped Classroom, Virtual Field Trips, Early College High School, and Daily 5/CAFE. We continued to refresh student devices. At AHS student devices were refreshed and the previous devices were cycled down to Grades 3-4.