Magazine article District Administration

Using Tablets and Google for Education to Support Early Elementary Learning: The Right Mix of Technology and Activities Can Help to Establish Foundational Skills in Grades K-3

Magazine article District Administration

Using Tablets and Google for Education to Support Early Elementary Learning: The Right Mix of Technology and Activities Can Help to Establish Foundational Skills in Grades K-3

Article excerpt

A District Administration Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on June 9, 2015

At the Challenge to Excellence Charter School (C2E) in Parker, Colorado, educators are using tablets and Google tools in surprising ways to foster creativity, collaboration and content creation in grades K-3, while also establishing a foundation of knowledge-seeking skills that students will use in later grades. In this web seminar, educators from C2E discussed how the school is using Android tablets with Google Play for Education both inside and outside the classroom for research, projects, field trips and more, how these tools have helped students take ownership of their learning, and the keys to a successful implementation at any school or district.

Kristin Kahlich: The Google for Education team provides you with a complete solution across the platform of Google Apps for Education, across devices that you can use on that platform, and then strong educational content that you can use on those devices.

There have been a few exciting changes at Google recently. First, schools now have unlimited storage in Google Drive. That's the place where you store your documents, presentations and pictures. Second, Google Vault, which is our archiving and e-discovery tool, is now free and available to all Google Apps for Education domains. Finally, we launched Google Classroom, which is now included as part of the Google Apps for Education suite. It helps teachers manage their classroom workflow and helps students keep track of announcements and assignments for each of their classes.

In addition to the platform, Google also offers schools a choice of devices through both Chromebooks and Android tablets for education. While Android has been a household name in the consumer space for a while, the Google for Education team worked with schools to build a specific educational offering that was truly designed for learning and made specifically for the classroom. We designed a program that makes it easy for schools to deploy devices into the classroom, to discover strong educational content for their teachers and students to use, and then made it easy to deliver those apps out to the right users.

At this point, there are six different approved tablets. There are seven-inch devices, 10-inch devices, tablets with keyboards, tablets without keyboards--but all of them were designed to be affordable, durable and easy to scale. Whichever of these devices you choose, you also need a second piece, which is a license for Play for Education.

When it comes to set-up, one thing that we heard from schools was that it can often be difficult to deploy new devices. With the Android management license, we give you an easy way to set up and deploy your tablets. To do so, you simply configure a few controls in your admin panel, then you pick a tablet to be an admin tablet and you install an app on that device. Then setting up all of your student devices is as simple as taking that admin tablet and bumping it to a blank student tablet. That creates a student tablet that is equipped for everything they need in the classroom. Also, if you are not quite ready to go 1-to-1, you can set up each tablet with up to five unique usernames and those students can share the device.

Play for Education is a site that houses Android apps and Chrome apps that have been specifically vetted by educators and approved for classroom use. Any school that has purchased a Chromebook license or an Android tablet license will have access, and any teacher or admin can manage the apps available to their students from a simple web page. There is no need to collect devices, take them to the tech department, or mess with a bunch of cords. It's simply a matter of finding an app on a website, adding a student, and clicking submit.

If you are interested in getting started on Google Apps for Education, you can just go to our website, Google. …

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