Last week we had a full schedule of classes with teachers. As we’ve been doing for a few years now, we focused on pedagogy rather than on the how-to of the tool. We are encouraging teachers to be self-directed learners, the kind of learners they love to have in their classrooms. To this end, we are encouraging teachers to take advantage of help menus and screencasts created by us, or by the people who know the product best: the people who made it.
Here is the perfect example. In many of the classes, we mentioned Google Apps. We have been using those in Goochland since before they were known as Google Apps, and many of our teachers know their way around Docs, Calendar, and Sites. Others still feel this tool is new and strange, and they need a bit of help. I could schedule a series of classes and gather teachers in a room, then go step by step with them. But it is summer, and we’d rather be at the pool. And I’d rather let teachers pick and choose what will work best for them rather than presenting what works best for me.
When a teacher wants to learn about Google Apps, I’ve been pointing them to the Google Apps Learning Center. Teachers can learn at their own pace, learn what will be most useful to them, and keep up with changes, which happen often in Google.