January 9, 2017
Haptic Networks
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G Suite - Education Event Review

What is Chrome First? What are Expeditions? How does G Suite for Education work? What can I do with all of this new information?

These are some of the most common questions we hear on a day to day basis in regards to G Suite for Education. We hosted a twilight event at Sheffield College to answer these questions and encourage a few schools to take their first steps forward on a whole new journey with their students.

Why Sheffield College?

Sheffield College is a further education college with 3 separate campuses. With 5,000 students spread across these campuses - it can be quite hard to keep track. Sheffield College have adopted the Chrome First stance being one of the first to understand that you can “fit the tool to the job and not the job to the tool.”

Who attended?

We invited 40 attendees, ranging from SLT members, Headteachers, Network Managers and Teachers. All from completely different backgrounds such as; local primary schools, secondary schools and universities. They were all there for one thing - a hunger for information (and sandwiches.)

So what happened?

In our previous event at the Streetly Academy (link here) we took a mere 2 hours to introduce people to the many benefits of Google. This time around we had 4 hours & attendees still had excellent questions to offer. Our goals for the afternoon/evening were:


  • To show and explore what G Suite for Education is and how to use it effectively (For those who had minimal knowledge of GSFE)

  • To educate on the modern approach to learning

  • To showcase how it has been done before & what an impact it has made in just 3 years

  • To have a brief ‘hands on’ demonstration of Google Expeditions

  • To explain the Google Ethos

  • To advise on how to successfully take the next step toward deployment


We kick started the event with an introduction from Joe Aucott, MD of Haptic Networks. He explained Haptic’s Google journey & explained the schedule for the session. Joe did what he does best and set the bar high by bringing energy, laughter and a sense of ease to the room.

From Joe, we were passed onto Graeme Hathaway - Assistant Principal of L&D at Sheffield College. Speaking on his ‘home turf’ he explained how the college uses G Suite for Education alongside Office 365: Adopting the “Chrome First stance” A lot of the issues that our attendees brought up were obstacles that Sheffield had encountered in the past and have since been rectified by this approach.

After a quick Q&A session with Graeme, we were then greeted with Andrew Caffrey - Assistant Headteacher of The Streetly Academy, Google Innovator. Andrew explained his 5 year experience with GSFE and gave a brief rundown on how a school with 1400 students became a Lighthouse Site in the UK. Not only did Andrew give an insight on how he completed his mission, he opened up and told us all of his journey to become a Google Innovator, casually mentioning about his trip to Google HQ, California. Change Management was a topic frequently mentioned and he found the key to success was the openness to adopt this.

After Andrew had finished, we took a short 15-20 minute break where James Leonard - UK Regional Manager, Google for Education took the moment to let us enjoy and explore Google Expeditions. He set up 15 headsets and configured them so that we (as many students have recently) could be transported to the Grand Canyon. He revealed to us how VR is catapulting educational learning forward. Around the room there were also 30 Chromebook devices scattered around for people to play with and examine.

After the tea and sandwich table had been put through it’s paces, Dean Stokes - Google Certified Innovator & Director - Apps Events guided us through the financial side of G Suite for Education. Dean is a former Teacher at Maltings Academy and has had first hand experience with the school budget system and how to save money wherever possible. The words “save” & “budget” in the same sentence certainly pricked a few ears around the room! He also delved into a demonstration of the app “Classroom” and invited the attendees to join in with the Chromebooks that were readily available.

James Leonard, UK Regional Manager, Google for Education  entered the picture for a short update on how Google will be progressing in the future and explained the ethos that surrounds Google. We finished the evening from a sign off from our very own Darrell Raynard - Cloud Solutions Specialist, Haptic Networks who explained more of the Haptic Networks side of GSFE, explaining how we have consulted with Schools of all backgrounds in the past, what services we provide and asked the attendees how they were going to progress from where they were.

We had some incredible feedback and interaction throughout. It was truly a pleasure to meet the individuals who attended. A huge thank you to the accommodating staff at Sheffield College for all of their help too.


Some of the feedback we have received from the event…

“ I want to thank everyone at Haptic for yesterday afternoon, it was a great event.  All the speakers were great and really impressed us, I’m hoping we can book some training with you…”  L.Thompson


Haptic will be hosting further events like the one above across the UK in 2017 - if you would like to register your interest in attending please contact us. We will also be presenting an hour long demonstration at the Google Stand@ BETT 2017 on Wednesday 25th Jan - 4-5pm we hope to see you all there.

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