Sunday, February 2, 2014

From Beta to Full-Blown Integration: Casey Finch's EdTechTeam Grant

Casey Finch, 8th grade social studies teacher from Fox Ridge Middle School in Aurora, Colorado, came to our EdTechTeam Rocky Mountain Summit featuring Google for Education and applied for our Student Device Grant afterwards. All attendees of EdTechTeam Summits are eligible to apply, and we've been so thrilled to see the magic transform classrooms around the world so far! We hope you'll attend a 2014 Summit and apply for your own class set this year.



 Photo by Casey Finch. 

 Casey's been documenting the process on his blog, and is also sharing his edtech musings on his Twitter @FinchAcademy. We caught up with Casey this month -- in between his teaching, coaching, and facilitating the live Tweet of the President of the United States State of the Union address!-- to see how things have been going since he first piloted his class set of Nexus 7's last fall.

"I have been incredibly fortunate since my teaching career officially started in 2007. This was right around the time Google Apps for Education (GAFE) was starting to take off. At my first school, we received a training in how to incorporate Google into our classes. I was pretty blown away by the collaboration piece and saw a HUGE potential. I immediately brought this into my classes. Soon enough I was sharing and training my grad school colleagues. In 2009, when I moved to my current school, I made it a priority to fully embrace and teach GAFE to our school.

I was lucky to attend the EdTechTeam Rocky Mountain Summit and applied because I knew this would be a great way to test out a new device that was designed to work with GAFE, much like the Chromebook CR-48 I tested. Luckily I was picked and these devices proved to be extremely useful for my students, especially the size. Now are district has just rolled out Chromebooks and our tech department is consulting me about the potential of using Nexus devices at the district level. What a great experience! We also got the chance to meet some of the other winners, including Beth Mossholder and Julie Stewart, and I was invited to attend their "Geek Camp" just down the street from us.

 Really, it has been a great learning experiment for me. I learn most of the stuff from my kids as they found incredibly unique ways to use the devices that I would not have created on my own. With the 'cohort' that has the devices, we are able to do a lot of cool things in the classroom using Schoology, the web, and drastically reducing paper. The devices provide much more tailored learned that allows kids to work at their own pace and I think there is great potential for these devices."

 Some of the tips from his blog include his students' favorite cases, apps they used, and how he transitioned from a beta to full-blown integration. Read his blog for more! Google also has plenty of exciting Play for Education options for integration apps into your tablet environment quickly and easily.

 Our next EdTechTeam Rocky Mountain Summit featuring Google for Education is October 10th and 11th at Monarch High School-- we hope you'll join us then, or join any of our Summits around the world!

30 comments:

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