Technology in Education has become a vital part to the common learner in today’s society. Schools are implementing different programs to help students continue to learn and are utilizing the evolving technologies to streamline the process. With many different tech offerings, how does a school decide what to invest in? What brand is the best? What devices perform under intense usage? Are Laptops or Tablets the better option? For many, this decision resides on the school or district IT administrator. But one of the challenges is knowing exactly what works best in a classroom setting. Without hands-on experience is it possible to understand how the learning environment will change when technology is implemented? Here at Promevo, we decided to take this question into our own hands and create an experience for one local school that might lead to the answer.
The fourth grade class of Ayer Elementary (Cincinnati, Ohio) went through our first ever, Google for Education Experience Visit. Hosted at the Promevo office in Burlington, Kentucky, we brought in 100 students to give them hands on experience with Google for Education technologies. Our Marketing team created five different learning stations with lessons including computer programing, geography with Google Maps and history with Google search. All of which included Google’s latest education products, such as Chromebooks and Android Tablets from various manufacturers.
The first station was built upon educationally focused games in our mock Classroom. We created a digital learning experience using furniture and Chrome devices, and controlled it all with gScholar. Our instructor, Taylor, lead the students through different games testing typing skills (Typing Club), math retention (Math Quiz), and creating matter starting with the basic elements of the earth (Little Alchemy). Unbeknownst to the students, we showed the administrators the power of our teacher dashboard software, gScholar, by controlling all of the connected devices on one central device. Taylor was able to auto send URLs simultaneously to each device and monitor the students live web activity as they were locked into their games.
The second station was our “career in technology” experience. Our in-house Google sales specialist, Brandon, walked the students through a presentation about the history of Google and taught them to always go after their dreams by “thinking big”. This was one of the most interactive stations because it got the students thinking about what they wanted to be when they grow up and it was visibly noticeable that they had the passion to learn and continue to grow. We also included a Google search game, where they raced to answer questions about the history of technology and Google.
Our third station is somewhat new to the Education world, but rapidly becoming a topic of interest, that being Computer Programing. Two of our developers walked the students through rudimentary coding using a free resource from Code.org focusing on Minecraft. Our team also showcased a project they coded for the kids with custom Minecraft mods. Each student then worked on a Chromebook and took their shot at coding their own Minecraft creations using block coding. This was a great station to introduce the world of Computer programming to students who might otherwise not know it exists.
The fan favorite station was focused around a newer piece of technology, Google Cardboard. We set up this station to take the kids on virtual field trips exploring through space and up close and personal with elephants and sea creatures. Using Discovery VR,
Google Cardboard App, and Titans of Space we were able to let the students immerse themselves in experiences they most likely won’t attain in real life. It was always hard to get the students to leave this station, because it was most definitely their favorite. Fortunately, we were able to gift the school with 80 Cardboard headsets to take back with them and use as they wish!
Google Maps can be more than just a GPS getting you from point A to B. When utilized correctly, Google Maps can be a useful Geography tool and that is what we created for the fifth and final station. Our team leaders led the students through a tour of planet earth, and even local destinations such as their own school. We put together a list of several clues describing wonders of the world and the students used Google Maps to search and find the corresponding address. We utilized Android tablets and Chromebooks for this unique experience.
For the students and the teachers, a three hour experience wasn’t enough. At the end of the visit the students were begging their teachers to let them stay! Each student also went home with a pair of Google sunglasses, a Google pen, and some stickers.
While we are just a hardware and software technology company, this experience was not only unique for the students but to the company as well. We wanted to create a valuable experience for both parties to remember and the framework of each station was built upon the lesson first, then what technology piece would work best for that lesson plan. Every aspect of this activity was designed with learning in mind and the design had a much greater agenda than just simply showing off technology. We were excited to have the fourth graders of Ayer Elementary visit us, and look forward to doing this Google for Education Experience for other schools as well! Interested in bringing your school to the Promevo office for your own Google for Education Experience day? Send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Check out some pictures of the event below: