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Over the next 10 months my school district is “Going Google”. I made the official announcement in my September newsletter called Spot-On so that as a school community we can prepare for the transition. Some districts have already made the transition and to them I’m sure this type of announcement is not a big deal. But to others who have never made an operating system change, including my district, the change brings on a host of feelings, concerns, nervousness, and excitement.

While planning for this transition I had a thought about dedicating one of my blog posts each month to the transition and what we are experiencing. It will be a way to provide information about what works and doesn’t work, and hopefully get suggestions from those who have made the transition. My hope is that the blog posts about our transition are a living document of how the process goes and the lessons learned. So consider this the first in 10 installments of Going Google.

Making the decision on Going Google is educationally based on creating an effective learning environment for our students and an effective instructional environment for our teachers through the integration of technology. My own educational belief system about this type of innovation was outlined in August 2012 when I posted 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Innovate in Your School. In it I clearly identify the importance of focusing on learning and teaching, professional development, and a timeline. So with that in mind our first steps to Going Google included:

  1. Deciding on Google Apps for Education as an operating system that would help in the students’ learning and teachers’ instruction.
  2. Developing a timeline that goes beyond the next 10 months.
  3. Identifying broad topics and integrating them into our professional development schedule each month for the next 18 months (much longer than the transition period).
  4. Identifying and connecting with outside resources that can assist in the transition from both technical and educational perspectives.
  5. Identifying a new domain name for the transition. The reason for this is to clearly identify the old system from the new system.

Going Google will be a transition down a road that at times is smooth and other times bumpy but I hope you come along on the ride with us. And while we make the transition feel free to leave comments for us to help.

Next Month – Going Google – Part 2.

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