Experimenting with a Google Apps Lab

Creative Commons image from http://bit.ly/LTaWcl

As we shift into a summer mode at Mercy, we are also going to shift our professional development format. In May we presented some “Super Tuesdays” (and Thursdays) — These were after-school workshops dedicated to the introduction of specific iPad apps like DropboxNoteshelfEvernote, andExplain Everything. These sessions were very well attended even though they came at an exceedingly busy time for our teachers. Volunteers presented the workshops and it was unreasonable to expect them to give make-up sessions or post lots of resources.

So for summer, we will try to slow down and individualize. In June, we will host two “labs”. This was the suggestion of our incredibly tech savvy, Alison Kline-Kator(someone you will be hearing more about in an upcoming post). She suggested a “drop-in” environment where folks could come for the 1:1 or small group training they desired. About eight staff members answered my call to serve as “trainers” for these two hour periods.
The first lab will be held on June 4, and it will focus on anything Google. Going to Google Apps was a key facet of our transition to Mercy 2.0. During a Keynote in April, Lucy Gray gave us a taste of all the interesting instructional possibilities for Google Apps. In addition, since across the school we are transitioning to Google Calendar, fluency in that environment will become essential for all staff. About 25 staff members have indicated that they will probably or certainly attend.
Two weeks later we will present a lab for all things iPad. I will be very curious to see how many people drop by, and that will pretty much determine whether we will offer another couple of labs during the summer.
In my next post I will describe a scheme for our newbie teachers that is a little more intense!
CC illustration found at http://bit.ly/LTaWcl
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