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!