SHS focuses on becoming a Google school

Jacob Grieco

In an ideal world a student would never have to print another paper, and all assignments and communication would be online. Ai??Google is constantly working on a way to do just that by eliminating hand-to-hand interactions completely, and this year at SHS there has been movementAi??towards becoming a “Google school” through the use of this technology.

The idea of being a Google school is that a majority of the programs the school uses come from Google; the primary apps being Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, and Google Classroom. By using mainly Google apps it is easier to keep everything in one place and share things with others.

SHSAi?? has had the idea of moving into this digital age for a few years, they just needed to accomplish it.Ai?? In February, 2015 the position of Director of Educational Technology was filled by Ms. Kathleen DePietro-Covey.Ai?? She believes that “the push was there; they just needed someone to guide it through.”

With the integration of Google ChromebooksAi??into the school, students withoutAi??cellAi??phones or tablets still have a way to access their Google accounts during the day.Ai??Ai??By having the teachers useAi??Google apps for their communicationAi??and planning, the schoolAi??will spendAi??less money on other outside programs. They can then re-purpose the money towards getting more Chromebooks and training for teachers.

The school librarian, Mr. Bill Lowenburg, has been named technology integrator andAi??is the person in chargeAi??of holding training for the teachers. The training helps familiarize teachers with the Chromebooks and the software that they will use online.

There are aAi??large varietyAi??of apps that Google has to offerAi??that can help the userAi??with anything they may need.Ai?? “Google is a very personalized tool for the learner,” said DePietro-Covey. Ai??Also,Ai??by using Google docs the students will be exposed to something other than Microsoft. Ai??They can also carry on their experience with Google’s programs to any future job they might obtain.

Google Classroom has seen a lot of use in the school. Ai??For example, English teacher Mr. Andrew Kurnas has almost completely moved away from the traditional pen and paper classroom. Ai??He has moved his classroom into the 21st century, and says he can not imagine ever going back.

“If you don’t have the technology in your room you won’t be able to use the Google apps as much,” Kurnas said. “The Chromebooks really made this possible,” said Mr. Kurnas.

Not only does Google make work quicker and more efficient for the teachers but students feel it is a lot better this way as well. Ai??Students are able to work on the same document while being in different places so it is much easier to cooperate on group projects.

“It is easier with Google Docs because typing is easier and faster than writing and people can comment to each other,” said sophomore Katrina Green.

If the school successfully moves everything to Google, students may not have to carry a backpack and books. All they would need is a computer, tablet, or even a smart phone to get all their assignments and any information they may need.