Going Google: My Journey with SimpleK12
As a music teacher with 19 years of experience, I have always had a love for using technology. My Master’s Degree could have led to a certification in Instructional Technology, but I chose to gear my papers and projects toward integrating technology into my music lessons. When it was announced last year that my school district was going Google and becoming a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) District, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.
Google has been and is my favorite search engine to use at school and at home, but I am sad to say that a year and a half ago I knew nothing about what it offered beyond basic internet searching and Gmail. A few teachers in my school had been talking about an online professional development resource that allowed them to watch webinars and earn CEUs from the comfort of their homes – that resource turned out to be SimpleK12. I signed up and have not looked back. To date, I am happy to say that I have completed over 20 webinars about Google and I plan on watching more.
One of my goals last year was to create a new webpage in Google. I learned the basics of how to use Google Sites by watching two webinars by Kim Munoz, a SimpleK12 trainer, in late 2014. I completed my webpage in April 2015 and a few months later my principal asked a colleague and me to overhaul our school’s website by using Google Sites. Early into the 2015-2016 school year, I helped my sister edit her Google Site over the phone and I co-facilitated a Professional Development session using Google Sites with my K-5 department. I could not have accomplished any of this without the training I received by watching webinars on SimpleK12.
I use Google Drive every day at school, and I love using their suite of tools and add-ons. The more I learn about Google, the more I want to use it in every facet of my teaching. For example: With students – as a Slides Presentation to introduce a new music topic, a Doc that shows the lyrics to a song, or in Google Classroom by assigning a Form to quiz if students have learned the unit I just taught or survey their knowledge; As an administrative tool – Sheets as attendance lists or as a way to track the ordering of recorders, Forms as a quick assessment tool I can use to fill in while I observe students working in class, or Calendar to track my concerts throughout the year and the concerts of the other music teachers in my district.
I recently presented a Professional Development training session at one of my schools about using Google Drive and Google Docs. Again, I turned to SimpleK12 to help me look at these topics and aid me with my research to uncover any new strategies or tips that I could learn to use in my presentation.
SimpleK12 has become the place where I go when I want to learn more about Google. There is nothing better than watching a webinar and learning about a topic that I am not familiar with, or learning something new about a topic that I thought I knew a lot about. I can truly say that with SimpleK12’s help I have gone Google and I love it!
Kristin Lampros is a General Music Teacher to grades K-5 at the Miller and Day Schools in Westford, Massachusetts. She believes that learning should be fun and she strives to make all of her lessons educational and entertaining. In addition, she enjoys finding new and innovative ways to teach music by using technology as well as working with various devices (Chromebooks, iPads, laptops, computers) to have students create projects that combine technology, art and music. It is her hope to earn her bunny slippers with SimpleK12 soon!