I know I said I would be completing my Gatekeepers of Technology series after a short break last week but when the information was launched about two amazing new initiatives from the Google for Education team, I thought it would be remiss if I didn't address them at this opportune time. I assure all the regular readers that next week I will re-visit that series but here goes with the announcements.
1. Google is moving north!
I was really pleased to hear that the wonderful Google for Education team were delivering their Get Going with Google training in the Midlands and my good friends, Andy Caffrey and Emma Pass, were helping to deliver this training. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that this programme was coming to the North and North West - right onto our doorsteps!
"Whether you are a school, Multi-Academy Trust or a Further Education college, discover how your organisation can develop its approach to digital learning with education focused technologies. We will be showcasing the very best of Google for Education and the benefits it can bring to the classroom. The Google for Education team will be running a series of free events and workshops in 2019 to support schools that are interested in and new to Google, as well as helping schools that already use G Suite and Chromebooks." (Get Going with Google)
The morning discovery sessions will, "leave you with a working knowledge of how this free set of tools can benefit your school or college. Whether you’re looking to reduce workload, increase efficiency or save money, you’ll gain the skills, knowledge and advice you need to get going right away. The sessions will be entirely hands-on using a Chromebook provided on the day, so you'll be able to put your new skills to good use right away!" In the afternoons, colleagues will have the opportunity to dive deeper into their use of Google for Education tools.
"You'll learn about some more advanced uses of G Suite including Classroom, Sheets and Slides as well as have the opportunity to dive deeper with Chromebooks. You'll leave with fresh ideas for saving time and enhancing learning with our free set of tools."
The session details are outlined below for the North and North West regions (and if you're 'lucky' you might see me presenting at some of these events!):
Monday 18 March at Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale Thursday 21 March at Sensor City, Liverpool Thursday 28 March at Witton Park Academy, Blackburn Friday 29 March at Sensor City, Liverpool
Tuesday 19 March at Longley Park 6th Form, Sheffield Friday 22 March at Doncaster College, Doncaster Monday 25 March at Monk Fryston CE Primary School, Leeds Tuesday 26 March at Sheffield College Hillsborough Campus, Sheffield
In addition to this amazing news, we can now announce that Google for Education will be supporting our Summit & Awards on 12th July 2019, with the wonderful Kirri Gooch talking about Google culture and how schools and colleges can learn from this in their own contexts. The Northern Powerhouse is indeed alive and kicking!
2. Chromebook App Hub is coming
The second exciting announcement this week was that Google are releasing the Chromebook App Hub later in 2019, an online resource to help educators, administrators and developers work together to learn about Chromebook apps and activity ideas for schools. This brilliant new resource will achieve two huge aims and provide:
a) A new hub that brings transparency to EdTech developers
b) A new resource for educators to share and find idea sparks
This means that no more will there be issues of whether an app is safe for students to download or what its core aim is supposed to be. Developers will have a safe place to upload their proven and tested resources and educators will have a one-stop shop to find ideas to support their students.
Many of the apps and tools that we recommend on the podcast and through the blog are already set to be the trailblazers on the hub. The first tool we looked at was Screencastify and James Francis, their CEO says,
“Edtech is one of the few industries where each stakeholder wants the same result - improved outcomes for all students. With the App Hub, it’s clear that Google for Education is making strides to facilitate greater collaboration around this shared goal, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Dan Amos, the CEO of Book Creator, goes on further to say that, “By being part of the App Hub we can showcase how Book Creator brings creativity to Chromebook classrooms, and demonstrate transparency around our data policies and product accessibility. We’re thrilled to be a part of this fantastic new resource that empowers educators to discover apps for their classroom.”
If you are a developer and are looking to get your resources on the App Hub, then contact Google through this form.
If you are an educator and want to stay informed when it becomes available, sign up here.