Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Students Are Going Google At Van Meter Elementary!

We are so excited to be "gOiNg GoOgLe" at Van Meter Elementary School this week.  This will bring so many awesome opportunities to our students for creating, connecting, and learning about all of the wonderful tools that are included within Google Drive.

For the last four years, our secondary students have been using Google Apps For Education.  Our 6th through 12th graders are in a 1:1 Macbook laptop environment and Google Apps for Education has been part of the success of this initiative.
Our elementary students and teachers have access to a wide variety of technology everyday.  Each classroom has several desktops and there are mobile labs of MacBooks and iPads.  In the library, I have a mobile classroom and several iTouches.  Using tools on the laptops and online are a big part of the Digital Citizenship, Technology, Library Science Curriculum at Van Meter.

The integration of Google Apps For Education into our elementary is a natural next step and one that will truly make a difference for our students and teachers.

Like any new initiative, we thought about the process we needed to take to best prepare our school community.  Our director of technology, Mike Linde, set up all of the elementary student accounts. Our  elementary principal, Jen Sigrist, announced it in the February Elementary Newsletter.  I created the Smore online flyer below, Our Students Are Going Google!  to share through parents emails, teacher websites, Twitter, Facebook, and here on the Van Meter Library Voice blog.
Please scroll down on the Smore above to view the entire flyer.
I am introducing Google Drive to all of our elementary kids throughout the week and am making a big deal about "Going Google!"  They were so excited when I told them what the plan was at the start of each class.

I used a few short videos from Common Craft that explained Google Drive(Docs) simply to the students.  Then I showed them exactly what their Google Drive account would look like.  They loved that they would have a big blue VM on top of theirs too.  We talked about all of the different tools they would be able to create with....Documents, Presentation, Draw, Forms, and much more.
Next, I gave each one of them a Google Drive Student Card with their email and password on them.  I created these using PicMonkey....please feel free to use them too.  The sheet below is what I copied for the student cards.
With the little ones, kindergarten through second grade, I had them get their laptops and come back in front of screen so we could walk through signing in for the first time together.  They did a great job.  Once they were into their Google account, it didn't take them long to create a document and practice typing and adding images into the document.  
It was especially fun to see the little ones helping each other.  We talked a lot about being responsible and being good "digital citizens." They took this very seriously and told me that this was important.
With the older elementary students, we talked about all of the different ways we could use the tools in Google Drive.  They made great connections to how it would be very helpful in creating documents to use with their Edmodo assignments, to create presentations for the science fair and 4-H projects, and to create a form to get feedback from classmates on what they thought of a certain book.

And of course the were very excited about the collaborative piece of Google Drive.  They thought it would be fun and helpful creating and collaborating with their classmates.  They also liked how easy it was to share their work with their teachers and parents.

I loved hearing all of their ideas so decided to let them create a Google Presentation with a partner for the last half of our time together.  WOW....Did they do a wonderful job!
These three girls decided to team up to create a Google Presentation together.  It was awesome seeing them so excited about creating and collaborating.  
And these two....LOVED that they even used PhotoBooth on their laptop to take a picture of themselves to add at the end.
The second graders also learned about Google Drive today.  This grade level is getting ready to start blogging with KidBlog and they are going to connect with Andy Plemmon's students in Athens, Georgia.  
Mindy Doggett, one of the second grade teachers, and I had the students write a blog post in a Google Doc and share it with the two of us.  We will then print these off and use them in a "Paper Blogging" activity where comments are made with sticky notes around the outside of the paper.

It was fun to make comments in Paige's Google Doc, along with Mindy....I am just so excited for what Google Docs and all of the tools included within Google Drive will bring to our students and classrooms.

I can't wait to see all of the ways we are going to incorporate the creativity, collaboration, and connectivity Google Drive will bring.

And I am also going to take a close look at the Digital Citizenship, Technology, Library Science Curriculum and see how the skills they learn within Google Drive fit into the curriculum.  I think these are very important skills that definitely need to be part of this.


  1. How did you set-up e-mail accounts for students in the elementary classrooms?

  2. Hi I was searching for the blogs for many times, now I have reached at the right place.Do you need to write an essay in APA format?

  3. Hello, This is a great idea! I am a K-5 Librarian and I have been looking for inspiration online to get my kids excited about going digital. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Hello, This is a great idea! I am a K-5 Librarian and I have been looking for inspiration online to get my kids excited about going digital. Thanks for sharing!!