I spent yesterday at the Lubec School with Ed Latham and Dawn Fernandez in an initial training for using their new Google Apps for Education network. Lubec has 1-to-1 laptops for grades 5-12 and now is focusing intensely on providing the necessary professional development. Dawn, the regional mentor for Downeast, will be doing at least 5 additional sessions this year with the whole staff on helping leverage this hardware to be optimally used in meeting the school's learning goals. She'll also work with teachers in their classrooms to assist in the process of integrating with classroom goals.
By the way, the people at Lubec School are incredibly welcoming, friendly, caring, and enthusiastic. I love small schools! :)
Being a user of the many excellent Google tools, but not having seen the special "Educators" version that allows local administration, I probably learned as much as I taught, thanks to expertise of Ed, Dawn, and Larry (the amiable and extremely helpful local technical guy). I was impressed at the incredible free opportunities in this package for school systems. I drove 4 1/2 hours home to Western Maine wondering why all schools didn't make use of this user-friendly and powerful set of tools. With their well-integrated web applications, the good people at Google have done away with the clunkiness of many of the learning environments that I've experienced . They have done away with much of the top-down control issues and put the ubiquitous system directly in the hands of teachers and principals. Why would anyone use anything else?
What other Maine SAU's are using this in their school?
See Google Applications at LIM Resources
Google Apps for Education