Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Google Accounts for Students

I had to share this funny story with my PLN.  I tried telling the events to my husband but somehow it just didn't seem to be as funny to him as it was with me.  It began one afternoon with my two 8th grade student aides that I have labeled as my technological students.  They take on all our basic computer operations such as adding printers, setting up computers, etc.

There was about 15 minutes until the bell rang and we were hosting the guidance counselor aides since they were bored and wanted to help us.  Interesting that the library aides don't seem to have the same problem.  I thought this might be a great opportunity to introduce these students to their new Google account. All were eager and one of my student aides sat in the chair to "drive" the presentation with others standing around the screen.  After talking her through logging into her account everyone just stared at the screen and gave me the "now what" look.  I started pointing out various functions and realized I was loosing the attention of the counselor office aides so I directed my aide into her Google drive.  We looked at the create option and created a document as an example.  I then directed her into the share option and we actually shared the document with my 2nd student aide.  I then explained all the sharing options.  It was at this point that both my aides looked at each other in silence and then slowly looked toward me responding, "Do you mean a teacher would know what each student contributed to a project?"  Of course I answered yes that could be done by using different font colors.  My two aides again looked at each other before turning excitedly towards me instructing me in a fast and furious manner, that I needed to bring all the teachers into the library, pull down the screen (as they pointed to the screen), and teach this to every teacher.  I was utterly amused, in a good way, with their enthusiasm. Their request also included they wanted this done ASAP.

Student to student note
The demonstration continued with presentations and finally ended with Goolge form.  I had to step away at that point because they volunteered to make a school-wide form to gather information about what our students liked to read.  As a librarian, I was thrilled with their compassion and eagerness for trying new things and learning.  But I was also amazed with their empromtu ideas on how they could use their new Google account. 

I took a few unscheduled minutes to stop and show these students something new and they loved it.  My lesson here might be to stop more often for some one-on-one quality time with my aides to show case new apps, software, resources, or techniques.  Although I was amused with their enthusiasm I am now ecstatic with the outcome.  I will train all my library aides next week on accessing their Google accounts and I will start fiercely promoting this new technology school-wide.  Sometimes I feel the students are motivating me into becoming a better librarian.  

My idea that came out of this event is to start a student technology club during lunches.  I am going to ask my 2 student aides if they would consider collaborating with me and my IT coach in this endeavor. I would love for this to be a student on student learning process for all to learn the functions of our new Google accounts.  Stay tuned and I will let you know the outcome of the club.

Update - My student aides are eager to take on this challenge.  They have presented their idea to our principal and superintendent. They have a Google presentation ready to go for our first lunch technology meeting.  My lesson learned today.  If you want your principal's attention, pitch an idea such as a student driven technology club on the day your superintendent is scheduled to visit.  The students were awesome with their enthusiasm.

Double Update - About 25 students met for our first Techno Lunch bunch.  My two 8th grade library aides introduced the Google accounts.  Everyone seemed receptive to continue meeting, collaborating, and building their Google drive accounts during lunch.  This might be a great springboard to launch this new technology out to our school.


  1. Does your school have Google Apps for Education or do the students have personal Google Drive accounts?

  2. We are excited to be rolling out Google Apps for Education with our students.


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