Since migrating most staff technology operations to Google Apps, I have been contemplating the next step for student technology services. With the launch of Google Apps Marketplace, there are now a plethora of web-based apps that integrate with Google Apps Education (GAE). For example, Aviary is an online photo/graphics image editor with web template capabilities. Adding services to my student GAE domain is as simple as adding an app for iPhone. GAE already has resourceful tools for student collaboration, data storage, and portfolio management. And with the addition of more tools from Marketplace, I want to create the ideal GAE virtual desktop. From a district IT perspective, moving these software services to the cloud will ultimately free up time for more educational technology integration. Enabling software services through the cloud will keep me from having to manage software on every student desktop and laptop.
I will have a part 2 to this post when I finally create the virtual desktop for the GAE student domain. What Marketplace Apps are you using with your students?
Like it or not, state standards are here to stay, and finding solutions to help our schools is a burgeoning topic in education information technology. There are several solutions on the market that offer standards data assessment solutions such as Data Director, Edusoft, and NWEA. Data driven assessments are then used to drive instruction in hopes to master standards. Although these solutions are great for assessment, I am finding the need for a content management system that will provide resources and content on state standards. Bridging the data from a SMS to resources on a CMS is the challenge I am looking to design.
In lieu of a solution that I have yet to find, I think that Google Apps Education along with the social concept of crowdsourcing might be the solution I am looking for. In this particular case, I want to leverage the knowledge database of our practicing teachers. Using Google Sites and Google Docs, I want to create a CMS focused solely on standards. I want to have a system that will have a dedicated page for every state standard. For example, Geometry standard 9.0 will have a wiki page dedicated on resources, lessons, and discussions. It will be an evolving wiki that is generated by the hard working teachers fighting in the trenches. I am still formulating the social culture of the wiki, but at its foundation, it should provide teachers best practices on how to achieve mastery of a specific standard. Eventually, I dream to grow this evolving CMS for every teacher in California to use someday.