Monthly Archives: July 2016

To GAFE? Or not to GAFE?

GAFE:  Google Apps for Education

Many school districts are jumping onto this bandwagon.  They want to be a part of the technological evolution that is occurring across the world.  Google, as anyone who is even remotely in the know already uses, began as a search engine, but now, is SO much more!  They are Microsoft’s arch nemesis–a competition among suites.

GAFE has so many features:  classroom, sheets, slides, forms…the list goes on for a bit!  But they are also user friendly and compatible with pretty much any electronic device and other popular tools out there, such as YouTube.  And, if you already have a gmail account, you have access!

I, myself, have been a gmail account holder for over a decade, and I’ve never wanted to part.  Gmail is easy to use, never has never issues, and I’ve never been hacked.  It simply makes sense.  And with access to so many of Google’s services, the deal is sweetened up a bit more.  So when my district offered workshops on GAFE, I did not hesitate to sign up.

We spent three long days doing a lightning introduction and review of everything, and today, we are given the opportunity to take the certification exam.  If my experiences and (short) training did its part, then I will be a Google Certified Teacher by the end of today!

Honestly, in terms of tactile rewards, the certification doesn’t give much.  (You can print out the digital certificate they email you.)  But, it does allow you a lot as an educator in this tech-driven world.  As we spent our days practicing, I was brainstorming lesson ideas in my mind.  I feel energized and excited to tackle the school year ahead!

My district is lucky enough go one-to-one with Chromebooks this school year, so we are most definitely supported to infuse as much technology as possible into our lessons.  And slowly, but surely, I am feeling equipped to take on that challenge!

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Bringing the Library Media Center into THIS Century!

I recently took on a new position as the media specialist at an elementary school.  During the interview process, the administration made it very clear that they wanted to bring not only the space but the entire LMC program into a more tegg-infused realm, which is why I gravitated to this school when selecting a job.

But the task is daunting.  They still use the old school print card catalog!  During these next few weeks of summer (and BEYOND!), I will be doing my best to slowly bring things up to date.  Today was my first day in the space after I was hired and I quickly got to work!

  1. Weeded out redundant or duplicate titles
  2. Contacted the companies about digital catalog quotes
  3. Started brainstorming about possible digital encyclopedias and other resources
  4. Began curriculum mapping and integrated technology into EVERY lesson–no matter how big or small

The list seems endless because the minute I think of one thing, fifteen others come in its tracks, but it’s exciting!  I hope with each small change, the LMC will make a huge transformation.  It will be great to see how this following school year goes with every adjustment that’s made, and I look forward to keeping track of them here!

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