Sunday, December 04, 2016

Using Google Tools to Personalize Learning #GoogleEduOnAir

Yesterday I had the absolute privilege to join thousands  of amazing educators learning and sharing their learning as part of the Google for Education on Air Event - If Takes A Teacher.


I learned so much from watching fellow educators share their insights into teaching and learning throughout the day.  I also learned preparing for my own session -
Personalized Learning With Google Tools.   
(Thank you,  Erica Zimmer (@NerdyMaestra) and Craig Lyndes for your help with this session)



Preparing for this session, gave me a chance to reflect back over the past 20 years - starting with the year 1996 - the year technology tools allowed us to personalize learning like never before.



Although the focus of the session was on Google tools  - I really wanted it to be grounded in the practice of personalized learning,  and I felt so fortunate to have spent my career teaching in a state whose conversations about personalized learning started long before GMail or Google Docs were in our toolboxes. (Gmail was introduced in 2004 and Google Docs in 2008)


I feel very fortunate to have been in some of those early conversations with Vermont educators like Lauren Parren and David Gibson who were leading the way creating tools for personalized learning.
(“The Personal Learning Planner: Collaboration through Online Learning and Publication,“Havelock, Gibson, Sherry, 2003)

I feel very fortunate to have been part of an educational landscape that in 2008 had a vision that personalized learning via flexible pathways should be an option for all our students (ACT 44)  and that in 2013 passed (Act 77) so that every student starting in grade 7 would have their own personalized learning plan and benefit from flexible pathways to graduation.

My 30 minute presentation during the 2016 Google Education on Air Conference was not enough time to tell the story of personalized learning,  but it did give me a chance to give a shoutout to my state for being a leader in the personalized learning movement.   

Those who know me probably are not surprised that I tried to squeeze in so many different ways that Google Tools could be  used to personalize learning in this short time slot!



And honestly,  all I could do was ‘touch’ on each of these ways VERY briefly--just enough to give participants the big picture that those of us with access to Google tools have so many opportunities to personalize learning in our digital toolbox.   

I tried to add links to resources and blog post that could provide more information when possible,  and promised to add new blog posts to flesh out the details outlined on some of the slides below.





So  in keeping with that promise -- this is the first of a series of blog posts on how to use each of the Google tools mentioned above to support personalized learning practice. Feel free to subscribe to this blog if you want to be notified of the next in the series.  I’ll tag the series with  #personalizelearning   and #googletools  and of course,

#GoogleEduOnAir



Disclaimer:  Of course a tool (or a law)  cannot personalize learning -- It Takes a Teacher!  
(but the right tools,  and a little push from our legislature can support those amazing teachers who are working everyday to implement a vision of personalized learning)





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