“We’re a forward-thinking staff,” says David Beesley, assistant headteacher of St Julian’s. Educators enthusiastically adopt new concepts for teaching and learning, but the school’s technology was not keeping pace with the latest trends in collaborative learning. This prevented teachers from reaching their primary goal: engaging students in day-to-day studies. With a large student body, teachers and staff struggled to communicate with each other and with students in ways that fostered idea-sharing.
After vetting several learning platforms, St Julian’s settled on Google Apps for Education. “We wanted tools that could be accessed over all kinds of devices, since teachers have different tablets and mobiles,” Beesley says. The first step in the Google Apps rollout was creating Gmail addresses for teachers and staff. “We spent a lot of time winning hearts and minds,” he says. “Teachers were worried that they’d have to spend hours learning how to use Google Apps – so we sought out advocates in each department to show how easy it was.”
“We’re seeing the kind of collaboration that wouldn’t have been possible before – it’s a way to bring younger students into the idea of technology-driven learning before they arrive at secondary school.”David Beesley, Assistant Headteacher, St Julian's School