School’s out Friday

What’s in a name?

Well, plenty of us will be soon to find out as we return to school and start talking about G Suite instead of Google Apps for Education.

Yes, Google made an announcement today that they are changing the name of Google Apps for Work to G Suite and Google Apps for Education will now be known as G Suite for Education. That’s an awful lot of rebranding that’s going to have to take place at Google’s end, and those of us used to using the #GAFE hashtag for Twitter posts and bookmarking are going to have to adapt too.

One of the changes introduced is the addition of ‘Explore’ in Google Docs and Slides. (Explore was introduced in Sheets a while ago). The idea behind explore is for it to give you suggestions based on the content within your document. Unfortunately, explore has replaced the Research tool that I found to be extremely useful to use with students. What is missing now is the ability to filter content according to Creative Commons licencing and you can no longer add a citation and select the citation format you would like to use. Hopefully the folks at Google will recognise that many teachers directed students to this tool and they will improve functionality within explore by introducing features from the Research tool.

After having spent the last few weeks of Term 3 emailing staff and students about the access they now have to Google Apps for Education, I’m going to have to think about how I start talking G Suite and not Google Apps. Adaptability – it’s the name of the game in today’s world.

Enjoy the weekend. Those of us who reside in Melbourne will be consumed tomorrow afternoon with the AFL Grand Final. I’m hoping to see Footscray rise to the occasion and take the win. Nothing like seeing an underdog succeed. 🙂

 

Google Apps for Education Canberra Summit 2015

Screenshot 2015-03-30 22.13.10

I returned last night after spending the weekend in Canberra, attending the Ed Tech teams GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit at Gungahlin College. It was a wonderful weekend. The people who present are knowledgeable and so keen to share what they know, freely making their resources available and allowing teachers new to Google Apps to encounter the sharing nature of the community that surrounds GAFE.

The truly interesting part of this weekend was discovering that the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate (the body who runs public education) have provided all public schools with access to Google Apps for Education. In fact, they have provided what they are calling a ‘Digital Backpack’ for schools that includes access to Office 365 as well as other browser based digital offerings. It’s a very progressive move – I was very impressed with the thinking that has gone into this and the opportunities it is presenting to children in the ACT Government system of Education.

I tweet a lot at conferences like this – it’s my form of notetaking, with the benefit that I’m sharing these notes with the people following me on Twitter. I’ve collated them into a Storify – click this link if you’d like to see inside my head over the last two days!

I presented about deploying Google Apps in your school. Toorak College has been a Google Apps school for over a year now and the experience has been transformative for many of us. Slides are below if you want to take a look.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make the weekend work – it was well worth the trip!