Banking on the success of last year's Google Apps mini-conference, Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) will offer Google Apps for Education (GAFE) sessions on Tuesday, October 27th. More than 155 student participants from the Grades 9 and 10 classes will be joined by 15 teachers for the event which will be led by Jen Clevette, an Assistant Principal at PWA. What's new about this year's conference? The school has invited 25 student-teachers who are currently enroled in the Bachelor of Education Teacher Education North (TEN) collaborative degree program at Grande Prairie Regional College to benefit from this learning opportunity.
This is also the second year for the school's one-to-one Google Chromebook implementation program.
"Our ultimate goal with the Chromebook program is to see a digital device in the hands of every student," says Ms. Clevette. "This year, approximately 40 per cent of our students have a Chromebook and are using it to enhance their learning. The goal of the mini-conference is to introduce students and teachers to the ins and outs of the device."
"Students will follow the regular bell schedule for the day, but instead of going to classes, they will rotate through eight Google Apps for Education (GAFE) sessions," says Ms. Clevette.
Ms. Clevette says the idea for the mini-conference came about when teachers expressed a desire to learn alongside their students.
GAFE sessions covered at this year's mini-conference will include Google Draw, Google Apps, Google Extensions, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Drive, along with a care and maintenance session entitled Care and Feeding of your Chromebook.
The sessions will be facilitated by Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) staff, including current Education Technologists Memorese Walter and Leah Montes, and Gerald Logan, who formerly held the role; along with Darcy Bromling, IT Coordinator and Daniel Hallock, IT Technician. They will be joined by two guest facilitators from Wolf Creek Public Schools.
"We offer Google Chromebooks as part of PWA's Grade 9 registration, at no additional cost, with the expectation that the device will be here and ready to use for as long as the students are enroled at the school," adds Ms. Clevette. "This is a pilot project to see how teaching and learning changes. We have three goals for this project: provide equitable access to technology, increase ownership of learning, and increase student engagement in learning."
The mini-conference event also supports the goals of PWSD's Personal Device Project which will eventually see digital devices in the hands of all students and incorporated into all learning situations.
Photo Caption: For the second year in a row, Peace Wapiti Academy will host a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) conference.