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Thanks to Ryan Bretag for his blog post on using Google Apps with students. Ryan, an Instructional Technology Coordinator at Glenbrook North High School near Chicago, shared his thoughts on using Google Apps for students along with some interesting data on colleges that are providing Google Apps for their students. As we enter year two as a Google Apps high school and year one utilizing Google Apps with students in grades K-8, I think Ryan's words are important for all of us to consider.
While the world of education seems hell-bent on content and skills, it is vital that the other areas are on equal footing such as guaranteed experiences.One important experience that I strive to guarantee at the school level is immersion into the realm of Google Apps. The reasons for this are many in the area of life: cloud-based living and management, Internet-minded thinkers, making learning public, globally connected scholars, Google opportunities, etc.
But I would be remiss not to mention the importance of this guaranteed experience for students going to college. According to Google, “seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. Universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking) have gone Google”.
For those students that identify college in their future, how valuable is this experience in helping with the transition to college? How beneficial is it making that first year a success and moving them into that critical second year, a move that statistically some say is our best predictor of graduating?
Given these Gone Google numbers in college and a world that is expecting our students to function in life with said tools, I see it as a valuable and beneficial experience for students beyond the normal talk of skills.Speaking of Google, we are proud to be the host site for the Google Apps for Education New England Summit November 3 and 4 at Burlington High. This will help us all continue to expand our use of these resources better prepare our students for what is ahead.