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Purpose: I would like to continue to expand my personal learning network and I’d like to get input from outside and from within the district about how to improve our communication and collaboration system.
I have become a huge fan of Google. I am an equally big fan of Apple and am extremely fortunate to work in a district that has a 1-to-1 MacBook initiative. I have spent the past two years with the title of Technology Integration Coach. This is/was a new position in the district. The title, itself, is the job description. I think it is safe to say that I stumbled my way through the first months of my tenure. My message has always remained the same. When it comes to creating a technology integrated environment, it is not about the tool, the product, application, or system. The focus needs to be placed on communication and collaboration...between students, teachers, teachers to students, and teachers to parents. The methods, whatever they may be, should increase the student’s access to a high quality education.
As an instructional/technology coach, my message to teachers has been that they should choose the method that works best for them. Yes, I have been an advocate for Google Apps for education, but it makes no difference to me whether they use DropBox, Google, or just email.
There have been a number of changes in systems and personnel in the district in recent history. Some of the system changes have had an affect on the district’s communication, collaboration, and information sharing needs. I now find myself advocating even more for Google. I am sure that we can utilize Google as our sole file and information sharing system. However, I am open to suggestions. We are also in the process of gathering information from other companies.
The goal is to provide students with access to content and encourage parent participation. We also need a system to organize and manage school work and curriculum files. Finally, the system needs to allow for collaboration between colleagues. We use Google in our district but not as a district. We also use Infinite Campus. Our email is an Exchange system. I think we can make better use of each of these tools in order to meet our goals. I would appreciate any and all input. What works for you as an individual? What system does your school/district use?