April 19, 2016
Haptic Networks
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Google For Education Event - Review

Classroom, Chrome OS, Expeditions, Google Apps, Chromebooks - What are they? What do they mean? What benefits can they offer?

We set out to answer the questions above (whilst inviting attendees to raise others) by hosting an after hours Event last week at the Streetly Academy in Sutton Coldfield.

Why Streetly Academy?

As a selected 'Lighthouse' - Streetly Academy have demonstrated a transformation over the past 2 years, evolving from their legacy ICT infrastructure to being a beacon for the vast benefits of adopting Apps for Education and Chromebook Devices. Their Assistant Head - Andrew Caffrey was also on hand to present their journey and to demonstrate Classroom.

Who attended?

Our brief was simple, invite an ideal group for a collaborative and interactive session. We invited around 30 attendees, mostly from Education, ranging from Headteachers, Network Managers, to SMT and Teachers (some of whom travelled from as far as Doncaster and the Wirral)

What was the Agenda?

Our mission was to use the small amount of time to:

  • Introduce the people in attendance to Google Apps For Education
  • Showcase how they too could benefit from using some of the Apps
  • Provide information on how to bring Chromebooks into Schools
  • Highlight how effective Classroom can be
  • Inform attendees of how Haptic are helping Schools 'Go Google'

Lasting just over 2 hours, we had a lot to pack in. Jeminatu Alabi-isama - Education Regional Manager, UK - Google - Kicked off the event by introducing herself and her path with Google that has seen her working with Education in both Ghana and the U.S. Having worked with Jeminatu for quite some time it was superb to hear how she has witnessed Google advancing learning methods and collaboration for students across the World.

Following on from an inspirational presentation, Andrew Caffrey - Assistant Head - The Streetly Academy truly took the room on a voyage, speaking openly about how he transformed their large (1400+ pupil) Academy into a place that now enjoys visits from other Schools across the UK and beyond wishing to learn more about Apps for Education. As a 'Google Certified Innovator' Andrew even told the room about his visits to Mountain View, California to provide assistance and feedback to Google directly.

Next to speak was Ian McCall - CEO - Birmingham E-Learning Foundation. Ian introduced his charity and gave case studies and a walkthrough of how almost 100 Schools across the UK have used the charity's assistance to provide mobile devices for students.

Then followed a welcome return from Andrew Caffrey, giving a live demonstration of Google Classroom to the people in attendance. As real-time class plans and formats were used it was a superb insight into how the Apps can save time, increase collaboration and fuel imagination and creativity. We've thanked Andrew hugely for this demonstration, to hear his ideas and vision and to see how he used the Apps to drive pupil engagement (even whilst they were at home) was excellent.

Last up was Joe Aucott - MD -Haptic, as the room was a mix of people that know Haptic (some of whom go way back with us to 2007) and some new faces Joe introduced himself and our organisation's journey with Google thus far. Highlighting some ways in which we're helping Schools facilitate Apps for Education; namely Gafe Launchpad and Gafe Audit - and how we're here  to introduce people to Google directly.

It was a real pleasure to get the opportunity to talk to so many influential and innovative people in attendance, we couldn't have been more pleased with the interaction and feedback that we have received.

Some feedback....

“I just wanted to pass on our thanks to yourself and the Haptic family for inviting us along to the Google Event yesterday and thanks to The Streetly Academy and Google too.  It was incredibly informative and we walked away buzzing with inspiration, which I thought would have subsided by now, but not - it had a really big impact on us both and completely changed our view on GAFE & Chromebooks and the strategy that we need to take as an Academy and MAC.

Thanks again"

Matt Jones - ICT Manager - St Edmund's Catholic Academy

To say that we were blown away by the event was an understatement, we enjoyed talking with everyone that joined us (some stayed for well over an hour after we'd wrapped up!)  Its evident that there is a large amount of interest in Apps for Education currently, it was great to have the chance to provide you all with some more information on the topic. Our thanks once more to the Streetly Academy, in particular Rob Knowles - Network Manager who was the true hero of the evening.

If you'd like to join us on our next event click here to contact us - and we'll ensure you don't miss out.

You can read more about Chromebooks at our dedicated microsite 

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