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‘Just Google It’ Is More Than a Saying in Duarte USD

February 17th, 2017 by Duarte Dispatch

-Courtesy photo / Duarte Unified School District

 

More than 200 educators will converge on Duarte High School and Northview Intermediate Schools Feb. 25-26 to enhance their skills with the technology applications offered by Google.

The teachers, about half from Duarte schools and the other half from other districts in the San Gabriel Valley, will spend two free days of their own time attending the Google Summit to enhance their teaching skills and methods through technology.

The Summit, one of many such events held around the country but a first for the San Gabriel Valley, focuses on how educators, administrators and students can take technology to a new level. Instead of being just a tool for the classroom, technology is now becoming a platform to drive learning in the modern educational arena.

Duarte Unified School District, under the guidance of Superintendent Allan Mucerino, has pledged to form a district of 21st Century Learners learning from highly motivated 21st Century Teachers, using the tools now available through technology.

“This educational summit, in partnership with the EdTech Team, will help our teachers embrace the options now offered through Google,” said Dr. Mucerino. “This is a great tribute to our district, and our staff, that so many of them are willing to participate in professional development on two weekend days.”

Duarte USD’s commitment started with the district commitment to fund the tuition for each of the educators who volunteered to attend the event. Additionally, Duarte High School Principal Mark Sims is funding the tuition for 15 students who will become technology change agents and help guide their peers in using the tools.

The Google Educational Suite of tools which form the basis for the curriculum for the two-day event include the follow products or applications: Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings, YouTube, Classroom, Maps and more.

The seminars will be taught by Google Certified Teachers, Google Education Trainers and Google Innovators, all of who have taken extensive training in the use of technology in the classroom.

Duarte High School teacher Joe Kenney was one of the driving forces for taking the district’s use of technology to a new level, and will be among the class leaders at the Summit. In preparation for this event, Kenney attended a similar event at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

“I was able to see top-notch presenters offering their knowledge of Google and other cloud-based platforms to equally motivated teachers and came away inspired with the prospects for our Summit,” said Kenney.

Some of the seminar topics are illustrative of the drive towards a more tech-savvy classroom:

  • No More Worksheets: creating a more digital classroom.
  • Google Maps: The map is your textbook.
  • Personalize your YouTube channel for personalized learning.
  • Think Global – Act Google

Duarte’s commitment to technology goes back to decisions made by the Board of Education and placed in motion in recent years by Dr. Mucerino, including a decision that every student will have access to computers, tablets and other devices. The district’s management team has also committed resources to having bandwidth and Wi-Fi capability for a technology based district.

Teachers will come away from the seminar with the ability to take the tools available through the Google Suite and turn them into lessons for all levels of students.

An example might be a world-history class focusing on the Great Wall of China, with students using Google Earth to create interactive maps and projects showing the structure.

“Our education professionals will come away with a better understanding of the technology available to them and should be able to see the way these platforms will drive learning in the 21st Century classroom,’’ summed up Dr. Mucerino.

Limited enrollment is still available for the Feb. 25-26 event. For information, visit

https://ca.gafesummit.com/sangabriel.

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