Thursday, June 11, 2015

Involving Your Students in Learning Google Apps for Education

Panelists: @Heidi Trude @Dee Lainier @Chris Scottsy @WendyGorton @SteveMerchant
Great Links About Student Training: Google Student BootCamp | EdTechTeen | EdutechServe Dojo | TechSherpa Program

Wendy: Okay hey everybody my name is Wendy Gorton and I'm super stoked to be here this afternoon or depending on where you're at, morning or evening.  We're with a bunch of really talented educators who are all doing really cool stuff with student engagement and Google Apps for education.  We’re holding this thing out on air for the next half hour to kind of share the different projects that each of them are doing.  

Hopefully we keep in conversation going about different strategies for involving and training your students on how to use all these awesome tools.So let’s go through and introduced everybody and I will come back and maybe go project by project and hear all of the great stuff you all are doing with student engagement.  

So let’s kick off if we want to with Heidi Trude who is joining us, which if you want to look on our blog,  We actually featured Heidi and her school doing a Google Boot Camp and that she was inspired from the Virginia Summit Featuring Google for Education that we recently had. And so we’re really excited to share a document that Heidi held and facilitated.  And then hear a little bit more from our other folks about student summits and other really great stuff. Heidi why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and maybe how folks can get in touch with you on your Twitter and all that good stuff.
Heidi: I am Heidi Trude, I am a Google Certified Educator, here in Virginia to give you a reference point as to where it is. It is 60 miles west of Washington DC. I am a French teacher and I have been collaborating with my colleague who used to teach here at Skyline and she's now the ITRT in the county at our elementary school. So that gives you a little background about her and myself. And what we’ll talk about later in the hangout is how the she created the Google Boot Camp and brought in myself and my students the camp with the elementary school students.  So this is my seventh year teaching and I'm really passionate about Google so that’s a little bit about me.  And to reach me on twitter my handle is @htrude07.
Wendy: Awesome. And thanks so much Heidi and thanks for sharing Justina's great curriculum and how you facilitated it at your school.  We will dig in a little bit more about how that all unfolded and the great activity that you guys did. And what you’ve been doing since you held that boot camp. Thanks, Heidi.   Let’s hear, I’ll go maybe down to the bottom.  Chris is joining us from California.  Chris you want to share with us, your background and maybe about the student project you are going to talk about today.
Chris: Sure hi my names Chris Scott.  @CScottsy and I think what I will talk about is mine craft since something I really like as much as playing as playing with the students.   And using it for kids to be demonstrating her learning in using Google apps to really reign in mine craft and really squeeze the learning juice out of mine craft.  That’s what I’m thinking about talking about. So there it is.
Wendy: Awesome. Thanks Chris and again reach out to him @CScottsy on twitter to learn more about what you going to hear. I can’t wait to hear more about what you're up to it Google apps and mine craft.   Dee please tell us about you?
Dee:  Sure, my name is Dee Lanier I am in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Twitter handle is @deelanier and also on Google+.  This is my first year out of the classroom in the last eight years which is both scary and exciting at the same time.  I heard up a nonprofit organization called Uncommon which also allows me a lot more free time to volunteer at schools.  I serve on the board of school culture, a lab school.  I work at a museum sometimes here in Charlotte and sometimes in train teachers to try to utilize their talents as well.  So the thing I love the most is just getting creative tools in the hands of kids.

And then letting them have fun with it and then learning from them what all their doing with it. So doing a lot of things with capturing photography and video capturing, time lapse, things of that nature.  Like audio recording, giving them tools of that nature.  Or a soundtrack, showing how to use it and then finding out what they do with it. It’s lots of fun.
Wendy: Awesome.  And Dee’s done some really great keynotes for a lot of our summits in our program in the past and in the future.  And we’re always excited to hear the cool stuff that Dee has in store.  And then we’ll dig in a little bit more to some of those creation tools you just mentioned soon.  Yay, let’s chat really quick with Steven.  And Stephen’s joining us from school.  Tell us Stephen about yourself.
Steve:  Yes I’m Steve Merchant, first-year educational technology specialist.  I’m here in central California.  Los Angeles Unified School District.  And today I'm just going to share a couple of things that I've observed in classrooms with students using Google Apps.
Wendy: Awesome.  Thanks for joining us and sharing the passion sort of like Heidi and hang out with us at school today and am making the time to share with folks what's going on.   And then Chantal tell us about yourself and thanks for joining us.

Well thanks for introducing yourselves.   And hopefully folks can find you on twitter and on Google+.  I want to just start off and maybe share a little bit about Heidi’s boot camp that she did in Virginia and hear a little bit about it. 

 I guess it would be nice to hear from the other folks to just how do you go about - you get all these ideas, I guess at a professional development, like a summit or training at your school.  How do you then go back and take a project and get students excited and give them the strategies and skills they need to use all these things and how do you put it altogether?   So let’s look at Heidi’s site for a minute and the training day that you did and then maybe we can hear a little bit from other people on the call about ways that they've planned or facilitated this at a larger level for students to get them going.  Heidi do you want to share a little bit about on the event that you had and how it all happened.
Heidi:  Basically this was all her project completely.  She thought of doing this for two years.   She wanted to do it but then he had some personal issues that came up that didn't allow her to actually do it.   This last summer was the original plan so it was put on hold and then we attended the summit and she came up with even more ideas. And I found even more ways and started thinking like how can we involve highschoolers. There always looking for community service and I’m like I sponsor the Key Club and those kids need some service hours. 

 How can we involve the high schoolers with this kind of role model for our kids? For the younger kids. So we came up with the idea, okay let me teach my kids all these Google tools and they can go and facilitate this with the younger students using all of applications that Gesina had developed. So I had to make sure that I understood everything she created in order teach my students which my students would meet with me every day for 30 minutes during -we have what is called a flextime here it's kind of like…the easiest way to explain it would be a study hall. So the kids would come in.  I had about 15 of them in here working off of our chrome books in our school.  And I would teach them a new skill each day.  They would have, we used our Google classroom feed.  And the kids would complete each mission so they would understand how to teach the mission to the elementary schools.  I would tell them elementary kids have lots of questions about this.  And for my high schoolers, a lot of them it was their first experience working with Google Draw, working with Google Chrome.  

Most of my highschooler's are very comfortable using docs and slide and she was teaching them the new tools of how can you use this and how can you therefore teach it to the elementary kids?  That was the point I had to come up with creative ways to make sure all my kids could easily teach this to elementary kids.  High Schoolers and elementary kids sometimes don't mix well.   So that was how we had to come up with ways to creatively work with them so that was that part.  All the credit to everything that was developed, website, all of that goes to Gesina.  

 I mean she is super creative.  I think she eats, sleeps and breathes Google.   I think her whole life is everything with Google.   That’s kind of how she developed everything.  I can talk more later on how we actually ran the whole day but that's kind of where we got the ideas from it.
Wendy: Awesome, Heidi. I'm showing a screen the resource site and putting it all together.  I love the mentorship aspect of using leveraging high school and you know younger students as it is a way to help usher in some of these skills.  I don’t know, do any of you others on the call have other ideas or have you been doing any kind of mentorship between highschoolers and on and younger students or between students like a student Tech Club or anything like that?  Does anyone have anything to share?
Dee:  I can Share about my Dojo.  My training Dojo.
Wendy: Sweet yeah.  Please do.
Dee: Yeah, it’s at  And what we did there was have students go through a series of tests that they would have to qualify to then be tested or evaluated on their skill set.  To then earn a belt or earn a degree.   White belt was them being proficient in Gmail.   And so they first would have to take the 20 question test score 80% or higher and that qualifies them to do a demonstration exam.  And that would celebrated throughout the community and the school   it shows to be an expert in Gmail.   The first belt earned showed that they were instantly very helpful to the entire school.

And then what ended up happening is that we began to get younger students to come in starting with the third graders so we created the knowledge exams in the demonstration exams from there.  And it was the older students that would then help tutor them in using the school to school mobile apps. And then from there the students would then tutor the teachers. It’s a great lesson in reciprocity.
Wendy: Oh that’s awesome. Cool, and I’ve pulled up the site  Just like Heidi and Justina’s site that they have for Google Boot camp, it’s another really great resource for campus packaging it altogether and I imagine just even looking at this resource site.  That it’s really easy for other teachers to follow or just - the program, programmatic style of it makes it really nice.  Some, I don’t know this is cool.  I haven’t seen the site before.  Dee this is awesome.  Chris are you doing anything, kind of on the student summit end that kind of puts thing together, kind of in a way that makes things interesting for students to track or to get resources in an organized way like this?  Do you have anything to share along those lines?
Chris: I do actually a couple questions really quick for Dee, is what grades or ages well did you design that for?  And then like where did you get the questions you know for each sort of level?  Did you make those? Or did you grab those from somewhere?  Or some combination?
Dee:  Oh goodness.   It was a lot of development.  It first started out as an afterschool program for high schoolers.  And then when I moved to my next school we did a program that was an enrichment course for fifth and sixth graders that actually didn’t modify the curriculum at all.   They caught on they helped one another.  And we went from there.  It wasn’t until I got a third grader that decided to change my curriculum almost altogether so that I could scale down for them.  And those questions they were, they were started from some of the Google questions for education trainers.  That was some of the inspiration behind a lot of them and then…
Wendy: Chris did you want to share a little bit about your program.
Chris: Yeah absolutely.  Actually I'm just transferring to my wife so it will be better for you to come back to me.
Wendy: And maybe while he’s getting ready, Stephen do you have being that this is your first year as an Edtech specialist.  Do you have, experiences to start learning some of these things.  As I know a lot of talk is about returning teachers, but maybe you can tell us a little bit about what you're up to your first year there helping students.
Stephen: Yeah. Great question.  So part of the reason I’m here is to steal some of these good ideas from Dee and other folks on how we can start incorporating students little more.   This year we really did focus on the administrators and the moving towards teachers too.  We had a Mouse Squad we piloted this year but we’d really like something a little more, homegrown to meet our specific needs.
Wendy: Oh, what’s Mouse Squad?
Stephen: It’s an organization that has a preset curriculum where the teacher basically sets up afterschool club.  Or we could do it as a course.  And they work with students to do all kinds of tech things from troubleshooting to repair some teaching.   
Wendy: Awesome.  Let’s see I don’t know if Chris got back in. Susan’s in.  Hi Susan looks like you’ve joined us.  Can you hear us Susan?
Susan: I can hear you.
Wendy: Yay.   I can’t see you.  But  Susan do you want to introduce yourself and maybe tell us in anything that you're currently doing with the students and preparing them with Google Apps for education.
Susan: Well, I'm Susan Parker and I'm from Indiana.  And I am just beginning this so I’m kind of listening for ideas.   I'm a media specialist and I have we have a group called RD Intel but beyond that we really am looking for ideas on how to move forward.
Wendy: Awesome.  That's exactly what Steven's here for and I think we all are all kind of learning and picking up and it's so hard I think to just put all this stuff in one place.  Which is why when you come across some of these awesome sites or events like Google Boot Camp or what Dee was just describing with his dojo or what Chris is going to chat about with kind of Student Summits.  Or Mouse Squad as Steven mentioned. and sometimes just getting these links and resources and ideas and mashing it up to what fits in works with your school and your teachers is kind of the hardest part so thanks for joining us Susan.   In this learning call that we have going on.  Looks like Christ is back up and we get to see him now. Oh yay.
Chris:  Hi, I’m glad you can hear me.  I made it okay so awesome.  So we’re working with Michael Wacker and with Kern Kelly on Student Summits.  So teen summits super super exciting stuff like were going and were just providing these really fun experiences with coding and 3-D printing, with Minecraft and all these different things.   and of course it’s all under the umbrella of using Google which is really cool and you were just asking about, how we sort of keeping track her how are the kids able to do something sort of like what Dee was offering.  And we are working on - we meaning mostly Kern Kelly - is working on the Tech Sherpa program.  I see that you’ve pulled up the site there's pretty awesome.  Oh the video, there’s Kern there the video.  

The Tech Sherpa program is actually his students are actually putting a book together with some certifications that they use and test some ideas and things that they can pass and they can actually take like a test in and become Tech Sherpa’s.  Which is really cool it's like our own version of any kind of badging system. And what's really cool about it is that there is like a lot of kids out there whether it’s in high school or whether it's in junior high or even you know younger grades that are doing some really cool stuff with tech.  We know that. 

And it’s really cool then to be able to sort of have that badge.  That sort of Tech Sherpa that's universal right? Not just dedicated to a school or district perhaps but you know across schools so kids can really identify with each other.   So that's something that were working on.  And that is to be released at ISTE. That’s the goal. So when is that? The very end of June.
Wendy: Awesome.  Is there a site?  Is there a better site Chris that has kind of the program on it? I know this is the… Kern's been doing this gosh for how many? The Tech Sherpas I remember meeting them.  I forgot what summit I got to meet one of them but I mean this is kind of the stuff that I think all of us are here for today, is to learn about the empowering of students.   And just when we give students the reigns I mean there helping out teachers weekly around the world.  And so I think that’s really cool to put a name on in it or to kind of formalize some of the stuff that's going on with it.  And to help with kind of like a global thing.  Like Boot Camp or any of these. These are such a neat way to be able to connect with each other on it.  Is there any other information on folks that folks can go to if they want?
Chris: So we’re still really in the alpha.   So a site right now you know I think the texture Google plus pages is going to be a great way.  Reaching out to me would be great.  We do have but that is really just like a quick landing page so it's not much there is just quick landing page.  Yeah there you go.
Wendy: Whoo, that’s nice now everyone is getting the newest latest…
Chris: Yeah and that’s just a little taste of what's to come out.   And right now are just working on email, getting sites that are interesting. And what's really cool is that there's so many places are excited about it and it's not even something that we have to say like hey you know this is what we’re doing.  The people like school or saying to us we need this.  This is what we want.  Please come and do this.  And then we get great people like Dee.  He’s been at the student summits and Kern’s been there.   And uses lots of great people, just bring some really cool stuff and really helping the kids find that, I don’t know. You know just find that place.
Chris: You pointed out something really cool. Having that Tech Sherpa is actually our traveling to the different EdTechTeen Summits.  So we had one in Canada.  There’s three Tech Sherpa post was in Edmonton and Alberta.   And then we just had like a one day EdTechTeen Summit and it was in San Bernardino area here in California and there was one of the Tech Sherpa’s there and the idea is that the kids would be able to have some way some fashion to actually get to go and travel to an EdTech Teen Summit and share what's going on.   That’s so powerful.   You know we all know how it is like when the kids get up and do the slams you know.   It’s like they’re always doing the coolest stuff.   They’re always making it so fun for everybody in the audience.   We’re just like this.   You know if you don’t for him or her, then what's going on?  That was so good.
Wendy: Student showcase of work is just so cool too.  I don’t know how you get from the boot camp is with students’ work when they're finished.  I mean if you look at the blog and he wrote about the event with resources I mean what?  I want to go play those games right now they just look so fun.  But after the event have students a chance to share and some of the work that they've created with Build with Chrome.   Or with some of these things.
Heidi: I know their teachers there working on being recognized by the teachers and the kids are known as the leaders within their classes.  Since I'm not in the elementary school, it's hard for me to actually answer what they’ve done.   With my high schoolers though they’re coming in wanting more.  They are being featured with their teacher within their own classes.   Now because the teachers are like you volunteered at the Boot Camp so can we get you to help us.  I mean, our own students here are now taking on a new role as leaders within my high school which is awesome.  

 It’s a little less work on me.  When others are like oh, can you fix this, I’m like why don’t you just ask a student they were part of the boot camp so they understand how this works.  so there kind of being more…being perceived more as leaders within the school which is great because we’re just basically - our district is becoming more involved with Google apps for education now.  So our school has one Chromebook cart.  Some of the schools don't have any. And some are kind of just getting the kids to be more immersed into it is like a big step now so that’s kind of where we’re at. And next year my kids have already asked are were doing it again.   Which I think is great.  The only problem is I think Gesina is not going to be here next year so we’re kind of looking at how we are going to work this.  And will the elementary ITR that are still in place want to work this and on a bigger scale.
Wendy: Yeah I  think that’s where everybody is at the end of the school year right now is kind of thinking and I think that the Tech Sherpa’s talk about at the end of the year.  What do you do with your accounts?  But I think all of us are thinking now I'm sure Stephen and Susan too, just how do we take these small programs we may have implemented and learned from them in and how do we put this at scale for maybe out whole school district next year.  So I think that the questions you’re going through are probably the same that are on everyone’s mind right now.  

 Like what do we do to optimize this programming for our students and our teachers? I want to be cognizant of everyone's time here.  Do we have any questions from anyone who's watching or Stephen or Susan about any of these programs or any Chris or do you have a questions about the other programs?  Or Heidi, Chris or Dee?  Or questions about any of the things that we’ve share today.  Let’s hear it as we begin wrap up.
Wendy: I hope we all stay in touch in the community as we start to kind of go through these things. And I think what Chris is talking about and all of us is that you continuing to chair the resources and what were up to and planning these event styles, celebrations or programs or opportunities for students to share what they're doing is super important.  Stephen any last things to add or questions, or anything?  
Stephen: No Wendy.  You just hit the nail on the head with the getting this to scale.   Next year were rolling out 13,000 devices with every kid. Kindergarten through 12th grade having something/
Wendy:Wow.  And are those going to be one-to-one?
Stephen: Yeah, or one to one take-home. K-1 tablets and 2 through 12, books.
Awe man.  Well I know that the chrome book community and Google plus is really nice to start to talk to people and we have a bunch of folks in our inner network doing great one-to-one things. I think Jason Marquis out in Illinois is a really good person to follow and all sorts of other people to keep in touch with.   And people doing awesome things that one-to-one programs right now.  
Wendy: And just kind of what you're saying Stephen is how you get started with that and how do you move from one classroom to all of a sudden training in about 13,000 folks on being comfortable. So that the things that Dee is talking about, the creation and getting kids making stuff and getting our teachers comfortable and our students comfortable on with what's possible of the devices.  So we can all learn from each other in that respect.  Dee or Chris any last thoughts or questions?
Chris: I was just going to say with the creation tools one of the things that’s most exciting for me whenever we get to do at the student summits is showing how they work.  And if we have an hour to 45 minutes. It’d probably take 10-15 minutes of me showing them how and then letting them go.  And then asking them when they come back not just how does this work but how would you use this?  And it is always amazing to hear student say I would ask these for these purposes.  I can use it with these sort of assignments for these purposes.  I think lots of times we as teachers think we have to think first what are all of the educational opportunities or teaching the tool instead of just teaching the tool and then allow them to use whatever tool that they see that fits best with whatever the curriculum is.  The kids, they’re imaginative.   Right?  They have the creativity and we should just let them have it.
Wendy: That’s really hard to do sometimes. I think even if you’re like Stephen and teaching teachers it's hard to do.  We want as teachers I think we naturally want to preload and have all these use cases ready.  But I think your philosophy of just saying alright this is the function but take 10 minutes and then you tell me what you can do with it.  I like it.  I like it a lot and I think it's probably looking at boot camps and EdTech Teen and Student Summit training programs thinking starting to be a little more open-ended and not so much is inspiring for sure. Chris any last thoughts before we all hop off? Oops your audio is off but we see the passion oozing for me that’s okay.  [Laughter].

Right awesome.  Well thank you all so much for taking the time this afternoon to chat about it.  We’re going to be transcribing this.   And posting the video on our blog and on Google plus community.  So hopefully we can and keep the conversation going.  I’d love to have another chat as EdTech Teem goes out.  Is anyone here going to ISTE this month?  Gosh, that’s like a couple of weeks away.   Anyone going?  Dee are you going?
Steven: I’m not going this year.
Wendy: Boo.  Steven, Susan, Heidi are you going to make it out?
Steven: Next year for me
Chris: Not going to make it.
Heidi: I’ll be in L.A.
Wendy: Oh darn Heidi.  And Steven, next year.  See you next year for sure.   I like, I think in ISTE and after Google EDU on air the resources and just following the hash taggers is going to be huge and I think the resources and is calling the hashtag to be huge.  Vicariously gleaning some goodies from that event here in a few weeks.   Well, hopefully everyone stays in touch and keep in touch with us at EdTech Team.  I’m @WendyGorton,  @HTrude07, @DLanier.  
Stephen: I’m @edtechrockstar1.
Wendy: Ah, boom you’re the first one @Edtechrockstar1.  And then Susan if you want you’re welcome to share your twitter if you want anyone to get in touch but otherwise thanks for popping in.
Wendy: But otherwise thanks for popping in.  Thanks for sharing and continue to share and keep doing all the awesome things you doing with your students.  Thanks again.
Susan: Alright thanks.
Stephen: Thanks.

Heidi: Bye guys.


  1. That’s really hard to do sometimes. I think even if you’re like Stephen and teaching teachers it's hard to do.

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