Trading up to flexible, engaging education tools
By 2019, Murray Bridge completed a project to equip all students with Chromebooks—in part because the school had also recently rolled out Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. The school was also encouraging teachers to use Google Classroom, which had been in use since 2015 but was largely limited to Murray Bridge’s Inclusive Education Centre.
“Several years ago, we were still very much a Microsoft school, and using Office 365,” recalls Luke Starczak, Senior Leader of STEM and Innovative Pedagogies at Murray Bridge. “Now, with Chromebooks and Classroom, we see much, much higher usage of Classroom every day.”
To drive adoption of Classroom when the Chromebook 1:1 program began, Murray Bridge’s IT team created a solution to automatically create Classrooms and add students, eliminating many administrative tasks for teachers.
“Now our teachers can use their time to check in on assignments as much as they like,” says Starczak. “Teachers should be focused on teaching, not whether they can work how to get a student into a Classroom. That’s something we want to relieve them of so they can just focus on the students.“
The combination of Chromebooks and Classroom was also an “equalizer” for Murray Bridge, many of whom are low-income, Starczak says. “It was a smart decision in terms of making collaboration easier, but also an equitable decision because our staff and students can now work in the same space.”