National leaders from Google Education visited Lee’s Summit April 10 to learn how R-7 School District schools are using Google technology to enhance day-to-day classroom learning and improve student achievement.
Jaime Casap, Google Education evangelist, and Devin Regis, Google Apps for Education associate, spent the morning talking with Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members and visiting with students and educators at Longview Farm Elementary. The Google experts also spent time in Michelle Dobbie’s fourth-grade classroom and observed students working on a project using Google Chromebooks.
Lee’s Summit R-7 was selected for the visit due to the district’s innovative use of Google Apps and Google Chromebooks throughout the district’s schools.
During the 2012-13 school year, the R-7 School District is completing a large-scale rollout of Google Apps and Chromebooks thanks to funds provided through the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation’s annual fund drive. All R-7 schools are receiving Google Chromebook carts, which contain 30 computers per cart. These mobile Chromebook carts can be moved from classroom to classroom and are used by teachers throughout each school.
“I have been using Google Docs since last year with my students,” said Julie Wingert, “but this year I have committed to only use Google Docs (not Microsoft Word). It has been such an over-the-top experience for me as a writing teacher.”
During the visit, Lee’s Summit R-7 Technology staff members discussed how teachers are using the Chromebooks to engage students in learning and teach across the curriculum. In addition, the Chromebooks and Google Apps have become a part of the school district’s professional development for teachers, allowing educators to incorporate 21st Century skills and share documents and ideas as they collaborate to improve student learning.
To help its employees learn how to effectively use the Google Apps and Chromebooks, Lee’s Summit R-7 is offering classes for educators, and technology department staff are also working one-on-one with individual teachers to implement creative teaching ideas.
R-7 staff members meeting with the national Google leaders included David McGehee, superintendent; Amy Gates, executive director of technology; Kevin Whaley, coordinator of instructional technology; Ryan Rostine, Longview Farm Elementary principal; and Julie Jensen, Kyle Pace, Jill Rice and Linda Denker, all R-7 instructional technology specialists.