I have been thinking about a way to successfully introduce, and integrate Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in schools since I first started using it in about 2008. It seemed as if there were some aspects that people found difficult to grasp, but were essential to understand in order to know how to use the tools to their full potential. Below you will see what i have come up with.


This model is intended to be a flexible, interactive, one page visual document that is easy for staff to digest, without getting bogged down with too much pedagogical theory and lingo.  It aims to be personalised, authentic and collaborative - with the emphasis on the individual teacher and the outcomes in their professional practice.  By learning and understanding the technical elements of GAFE the teacher can use them to become more effective and efficient in the administrative processes, and then have more time to foster pedagogical approaches that until now have been difficult to implement in a traditional educational setting.  I recently spoke about the Universal Design for Learning at a Primary Principals Association meeting and see it as an excellent example of the way we can re-design learning to become focussed on the learner rather than the curriculum, involving multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.

The T/A/P into Google Apps model has elements of SAMR, as well as TPACK - However I don't think that the concepts involved in these models need to be introduced in depth at an early stage - they are certainly good to check and reflect on when using technology, but don't need to be considered as the defining rulebook for using e-learning.  I didn't want teachers to be worrying about too much substitution or not being transformational enough, applying others theory to their own work - as we know, there are plenty of teachers who have been fostering creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking without using Google tools, and I don’t want the tools to get in the way of good teaching - it is idealistic to expect that all teaching that integrates technology is going to be at the transformational stage.

The one page document also takes inspiration from the extensive work of John Hattie in making the learning visible so that teachers can see where they are going and know how they can get there by breaking it into small parts, there are multiple routes and channels and many things are not even on there, which I hope others can add - the teacher needs to know where they are and plan the next steps.  This maps the journey and puts the control in the teachers hands, rather than saying we will be coving google sites next tuesday at staff meeting - some teachers already use google sites, and others don't know where to start!

The model assumes the teacher has a sound knowledge of their own subject content, and good teaching needs to be in place, but looks at scaffolding goals and exploring routes to transform the way we are teaching to allow a more student centric approach.  To me, the most important element is the justification of the teacher to say WHY they are using the tool, and what difference is it making to the teaching and learning in their classroom - and this is the main underpinning of this model.

This model is not intended to be a static document either - it is intended to be a crowd sourced 2.0 dynamic document from within the school, and constantly evolving, there are plenty of things missed off that I am hoping teachers will take the time to create their own guides (using youtube, blogs, sheets, scripts etc.) - I am really keen on moving away from 'one tech person' or 'e-learning co-ordinator' in each school, what happens if that person leaves and takes all the knowledge with them? Does everyone breathe a sigh of relief as they don't have to use computers anymore and can go back to using their OHT's?  The intention is for teachers to explore how they can use the tools in their classrooms and topic areas and share it on the document by creating a hyperlink and 'how-to-guide' in any format they see fit.  This enhances the understanding, creates ownership and makes it a personalised document for the school and the teachers involved.

How I see it working;

1) Present the document to staff with a bit of background in GAFE and how it works.

2) Embed the document somewhere easy to access (Staff PL site), as well as emailing a copy to all staff.

3) Encourage the staff to fill in the forms to start setting targets (this could be built into the appraisal process, or teaching as inquiry model) 

4) When staff have completed the process they complete the reflection.

5) Some staff will complete the form to insert their own 'how-to-guide'.

6) The world is a better place....!

I have licensed this under Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, no-derivitaves - which means schools are welcome to use it, but as it involves google forms you will have to create your own (in order to collect the responses), and to do that you will have to email me and I will share the original files and templates through google drive, I'd also like to see if anyone else has any success in using this model, and modifications that need to be applied - so please contact me if you'd like to use it.  I have created a professional learning site to host the forms and documents on and I will upload the site as a template if anyone is interested.

Creative Commons License
T/A/P into Google Apps by Tim Gander is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://sites.google.com/a/gisboyshigh.net/tap-into-google-apps/home.