I am fortunate enough to have a colleague at my school is 100% on board with the whole Google thing. She was almost as inpatient as I was to get these kids accounts. We decided on Monday that our best plan of action would be to teach a small group of kids who we could then use as leaders in her classroom to help facilitate once we brought the whole class into the equation. I got those names this morning and met with them at 10:15.
The kids had no idea what they were in store for when I strolled into their room, asked them to get their netbooks, and then follow me. I sat them down in my office around the kidney table and gave them a brief overview of my qualifications as a Google Certified Teacher (one of the students in the group was born in Seattle where I got my training!) and the fact that we were asking them to be leaders in the room as their class went Google. Their anticipation and excitement at the opportunity to be leaders was significantly raised, even more so when I told them they got usernames and passwords. And with each revelation it got higher and higher.
“You mean we now have an email account?” (Yes, but remember, it’s a school account)
“Will we get to use that chat function?” (Hopefully to ask each other questions without having to get up out of your seat. Very enthusiastic “Whoa!”
“So, I could keep a calendar on here and add stuff like my birthday?” (Absolutely. You can do that during any free time you have.)
And that was just as I went over the menu of applications. After asking them to open docs and write a short biography there were even more thrilling revelations as my young apprentices tipped ever more dangerously to the Google-side.
“We don’t have to worry about saving?” (One of the girl’s eyes got so big from this one, I could have eaten dinner off of them.)
“You mean we can share what we wrote with people? And it shows up on their screen?” (My answer in the affirmative was followed by a flurry of everyone making sure they were sharing with everyone in the room. Until I popped my docs list up and it was woefully empty. The kids felt terrible for having left me out of the fun and quickly reopened their documents and fixed it with no prompting from me)
“You can leave comments? How?!?! SHOW US!!!!!!”
As I told Beth in chat, it was like Christmas had come in October. Each revelation a new and fascinating present. I passed several of them in the hall at different times today and all of them had big smiles on their faces. They’re hooked. And I know there will be other roadblocks to overcome. I get that. But today was exhilarating. To see the smiles, the focus, and the enthusiasm made the two months of frustrations vanish. And it really brought home who all this is for.