Recently, one New York school used Google Sites to hold an event bringing students, teachers, parents, and other guests from around the world together for a conversation about the future of education. The event, "Dot To Dot," was held live at IS 339, a public middle school in the Bronx, and was broadcast live through streaming video on its site.
All 67 of the school's teachers and hundreds of its students presented projects using videos, blogs, Google Docs and Google Sites. The event was a showcase of student voices, addressing topics ranging from the environment and how we affect our ecosystem, students' vision of freedom, and international human rights and genocide.
Since IS 339 started using Google Apps in 2007, it has fostered an environment of creative expression, responsibility, and collaboration among its students and teachers. IS 339 uses Google Apps for innovative educational practices such as student-run businesses, "good behavior" currency credits that can be used at the school store (also run on Google Apps), and group projects using Google Docs and Sites. Administration has also benefited from the efficiency that Google's web apps have helped accelerate.
Student progress and grading is now a collaborative process using Google Forms and Spreadsheets so that students can have a community of teachers supporting them. The results speak for themselves. In the past five years, IS 339 has moved off of New York State's failing schools list, and its students have moved from 9% to 60% on grade level in math, and from 12% to 40% on grade level in literacy.
When you combine Google Apps and inspirational educators, the results speak for themselves: ease of collaboration and innovation. Kudos to IS339 and the growing community of educators expanding what's possible in learning with the power of Google Apps.
Posted by Ashley Chandler, User Operations for Google Docs and Google Sites
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