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action research project on pilot study for use of GoogleApps with grade 8 students

action research project on pilot study for use of GoogleApps with grade 8 students

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  • 1. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 1 Action Research in the Cloud: Using Google Apps as a Learning Management System in Grade 8 Classrooms Colleen Ites Iowa State University CI 515: Action Research in Education 1 May 2010
  • 2. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 2IntroductionThe use of technology within classrooms is an evolving and timely topic that often crossesgenerational boundaries. The current groups of students, often called the Net Generation (NetGen) have never not known computers in their daily lives. They live interactive, creative, andcollaborative lives through the Web, skills which often are not valued within the classroom. Thisaction research study will show how implementing Google Apps as a Learning ManagementSystem (LMS) with a group of grade 8 students from a parochial preK-8 school in an urbanMidwestern city affects student initiative and cohesiveness of collaborative group work. Aseparate yet equally important issue will be addressed regarding the use of Google Apps toovercome problems among different operating systems between computers inside and outside ofschool. I believe that action research is a methodology that involves a teacher as investigatorusing best practices to improve a specific area of instruction or learning. The process iscontinual, recursive, specific to each situation, and reflective. Results are immediate, readilyapplicable for classroom teaching and learning, and revisited often to evaluate for effectivenessand further fine-tuning. To me, this process is a perfect fit for using potential technologyinnovations within schools. Currently, most technologies evolve at such rapid rates that empiricalresearch’s methodologies are too slow to track active implementation with students. For thisstudy I chose Mills’ model of action research (Mills, 2007): a cyclical and recursive series ofaction, reflection, and evaluation that can be continually tweaked throughout the process. After completing a five day reflective journal I discovered three main areas of concernsurrounding students and technology: student initiative and technology use, effectivecollaborative group work, and operating system compatibility issues between computers at
  • 3. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 3student homes and the school. I began to search out a good ‘all-in-one’ application available tostudents that could address all three issues, taking into consideration usability, accessibility, andcost. My school currently uses Edline and GradeQuick for communication and grading, but theseprograms have usability limitations and require a ‘fee for use’ for each application purchasedoutside of packaged school licenses. As a parochial school, technology funding has been scarceat best, so the solution had to be low-cost and highly efficient. There were also additionalconcerns regarding student safety, accessibility, and marketing to youth that needed to beaddressed. As part of my preliminary research I met with key members of the technology team,middle school team, and administration. We discussed and researched our potential options andrealized that Google Apps could be effective with older students who are already comfortablenavigating the Web. The technology committee set up a new domain name specifically for aGoogle Apps for Education (GAE) account. After Google’s verification of this account I decidedto complete an implementation study with my grade 8 students. I kept returning to the question“How can implementing Google Apps for Education make student instruction, assessment, andcommunication more effective?” The potential answers to this question pushed me to develop anarea of focus.Area of Focus In the past five years Web 2.0 applications have exploded in popularity and use. Currentresearch on technology integration for adolescents stresses how teachers should capitalize on thesocial nature of adolescents through collaborative group work (Hernadez-Ramos & De La Paz,2009). Helping collaborative groups remain on task and be effective is one of the biggestchallenges faced in technology integration and technology-enhanced learning today. In order for
  • 4. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 4technology-enhanced learning to be effective it needs to follow best practice pedagogy, fostercommunication with all parties involved, and allow schools to work more effectively.Technology-enhanced learning is most effective in learner-centered classrooms and is alsoanytime, anywhere, personalized, and flexible (Hamilton & O’Duffy, 2009). It is these factorsthat prompted me to investigate the use of an all-inclusive application that would engagelearners, build upon their social natures and be an efficient use of time and money. Currently, the best solution for my school’s situation appeared to be Google Apps forEducation. If used effectively, the Calendar, Mail, Documents, Groups, and Sites applicationswithin the Google Apps suite can help students and teachers manage collaborative group work.Google Chat allows students to capitalize on their social natures while working with each otheron projects and assessments. The application is web-based and available anytime, anywhere. Thefinancial costs involved included purchasing a new domain name and additional hosting space (ifneeded). Advertising within the application can be eliminated and students are ‘sheltered’ withinthe domain from others on the Web. Integrating technology today means educators need to teach students subject content, howto effectively work in groups, and develop excellent digital literacy skills. These skills includeWagner’s (2008) critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration across networks andleading by influence, agility and adaptability, and accessing and analyzing information. Theseskills are not just necessary to be more effective and efficient in the classroom, but will benecessary life skills for students in the future. Many of my students who get work in late or havedifficulties with operating systems compatibility are also highly technology literate: I believe theintegration of web-based learning would motivate them to get their work completed with effort
  • 5. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 5and on time. Overall, implementing Google Apps for Education for use within and outsideclassroom instruction seemed to be the best fit.Research QuestionsWill the implementation of Google Apps with grade 8 students be an effective and efficient wayto enable instruction inside and outside the classroom? ● How will the use of Google Apps with grade 8 students affect student initiative? ● How will the use of Google Apps with grade 8 students affect cohesiveness of collaborative group work? ● How will Google Docs’ universal file compatibility impact compatibility issues between student work completed on computers inside and outside of school?Review of Related LiteratureOver the last decade technology integration within classrooms has grown as a resource forcommunication and assessment between students, faculty, administration, and parents. Led firstby for-purchase package-specific platforms, this revolution is now moving toward SaaS(software as a service) providers with a ‘one stop shop’ for online applications, allowing studentsand faculty to communicate, collaborate, create, and assess learning. This all occurs in real timeusing ‘cloud computing’ or creation and collaboration apps on the Web. Google Apps forEducation is leading this charge, providing a free platform for schools. This literature review will examine the positive and negative aspects of the use of GoogleApps for Education. Areas covered include the use of Google Apps as a Learning ManagementSystem, (LMS) for schools, digital literacy instruction and safety for students and schools,student motivation and engagement using the technologies for instruction and assessment, andthe impact technology integration has had on test scores and assessments. Each of these areas
  • 6. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 6will weigh the positives and negatives of the use of SaaS and cloud computing in middle schoolclassrooms.Google as a Learning Management System (LMS) for Education The evolution of Web 2.0 into what is known as ‘cloud computing’ has left manyscrambling to learn about how this type of system can benefit a school community. Cloudcomputing, where all work is done and hosted via the Web, takes many different names. Themost common names used are Web-based LMS, software as a service (SaaS), and cloudcomputing. Currently these terms are used interchangeably, but as cloud computing grows anddiversifies the terms will likely take on aspects specific to educational cloud computing. With the need for students to become effective, efficient, cooperative learners, having anLMS that is accessible anytime, anywhere extends the classroom to the Web (Brown, 2005;Nevin, 2005; Ramaley & Zia, 2005). This concept of ‘education on demand’ is appealing tomany in the Net Gen, and to teachers as well, to show the formative progression of learning as itleads to a summative product. The open accessibility aspect appeals to all involved as well.Students can be given resources to use at their own pace to individualize and personalizeinstruction (Kvavik, 2005). Some of the forerunners in the educational use of cloud computing have been those inlibrary and media science. Frederick (2008) states, “If the goal is to prepare students with 21st-century skills, the ability to work in teams and to collaborate is high on that list” (p. 46). Buck(2009) corroborates this sentiment with her evaluation of cloud computing’s impact on the LMSmarket, citing Google’s software as a service (SaaS) as the Web 2.0 service that may prove mostuseful to school libraries. Hamilton & O’Duffy (2009) describe the need to educate students onthe ins and outs of cloud computing as the next stage in digital literacy. As Hamilton & O’Duffy
  • 7. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 7note, “We will move from the Digital Immigrant phase through the Digital Native phase to theOnline Native phase” (p. 333). The expansion of the Web to a collaborative, creative information source allows forstudent and school access from a variety of computer and PDA devices, while also protectingusers within their own domain (Nevin, 2009). These applications can be effective withinclassrooms as well as when used in school libraries. Adams (2008) showed the effectiveness ofusing Google Apps in an AP Language classroom. His students discovered how to effectivelyuse a number of applications to complete research for papers and projects using the Google AppsSuite effectively both inside and outside the classroom. The applications used include GoogleDocs, Search, Gmail, Calendar, GTalk (chat), Groups, and iGoogle. The idea that Google Appsis easily adapted by both digital natives (students) and digital immigrants (teachers) is anotherplus for its use in school communities (Van Horn, 2007). As stated by Thompson (2008),“Google is fast becoming a one-stop shopping center for Web 2.0 applications” (p. 20). AlthoughGoogle Apps is cost-effective and promotes anywhere, anytime access, the issue of enhancingdigital literacy while keeping students safe online is also a paramount concern.Digital Literacy Instruction and Safety One of the greatest benefits of using Google Apps in the classroom is to enhance studentdigital literacy skills. While many students use various technologies in their daily lives, mostonly know just enough about educational technologies to complete their work (Kvavik, 2005).Students need a solid background to support digital literacy skills, such as understanding diverseWeb applications and the ability to utilize those applications effectively (Clayton-Pedersen &O’Neill, 2005; McNeely, 2005; Yoon & Johnson, 2008). Teachers need to instruct the
  • 8. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 8technology as well as the content in order to show students how cloud computing can streamlinetheir learning inside and outside the classroom. One of the greatest challenges to confront when implementing Web 2.0 technologies isthat of student online safety. Google also considered this issue and addressed it head-on. Thereare pages of information and responses dealing with the issue of Web safety for users. If usingthe Google Apps Suite for Education, a school must have a dedicated domain name that ‘locksdown’ users and prevents SPAM, phishers, and on-line predators. Webmasters have the ability toview all user-created materials, emails, and chats should an issue of cyber-bullying arise. Thecontent created through the Education Suite can be locked down to the domain or made public atthe discretion of the webmaster (Google Apps for Education, 2009). The remaining concern for student safety while using Google Apps regards theappearance of marketing and ad promotions on the application sites. Google is first and foremostan information mining company. There are many who question if the applications used in theGoogle Apps Suite will also be mined (Buck, 2009; Frederick, 2008; Van Horn, 2007). Whilethere are no ads used in the Education Suite, the potential for advertisers to ‘hone in’ on ideas,products, and desires found in students’ Google Docs and Google Sites can be a bit unsettling. Inits current state, this problem does not seem to impact users of Google Apps for Education. AsGoogle Apps for Education continues to develop and evolve, it will be an issue to watch. The safety and integrity of student work while hosted ‘in the cloud’ has some educatorsand safety experts alike wondering if this truly is the best application for schools (Miller,Thompson, & Pomykal Franz, 2009). These concerns about a lack of file back-up and trustingthe system to not fail is also addressed by Google. Company-owned server farms are designed toprevent a cascading failure, and rarely is the system off-line (Google Apps for Education, 2009).
  • 9. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 9Students can still save work to flash drives or home computers as back-ups for their files, sincework from Google Apps can be downloaded to any operating system and further manipulatedusing purchased software programs such as Microsoft Office.Constructivist Teaching and Technology Current research on using cloud computing, SaaS, or LMS in classrooms all comes downto one pedagogy: constructivist teaching. Current best practices with technology emphasize theneed for learning to be student-centered, collaborative, personalized, and a form of ‘show me,don’t tell me’ learning (Bell, 2010; Hew & Brush, 2007; Oblinger, 2005). Students whoparticipate in constructivist learning practice creating instead of consuming knowledge, becomeintentional learners, and take an active role in their own learning (Brown, 2005; Hofer & Swan,2008). These students also enjoy working in teams, sharing opportunities and knowledge, andbenefiting from the knowledge of the group in courses and classes (Adams, 2008; Hernandez-Ramos & De La Pas, 2009; Mai & Tse-Lian, 2009). They have a desire to become part of theprocess and the product, not just a producer at the end. Constructivist learning often walks hand-in-hand with project based learning (PBL).Many of today’s students have never lived without being ‘wired’ to technology and expecteducation to allow them to work in teams, multitask, work toward overarching goals orstandards, complete work hands-on, and create products that go ‘beyond the classroom’(Hamilton & O’Duffy, 2009; Hernandez-Ramos & De La Paz, 2009; Oblinger, 2005). Studentswant to work with their peers to create something that they share in both process and product.They long for their work to have an impact on the greater world (McNeely, 2005). Many SaaSapplications allow for this, with Google Apps for Education being at the forefront. This greater
  • 10. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 10impact through constructed knowledge can apply to the entire world, to their peer group, or toone-on-one collaboration with their teachers. Working collaboratively through a SaaS such as Google Apps for Education developsanother side of student-centered instruction. Journals created in Google Docs by a student with ateacher as collaborator can be insightful into a student’s abilities at the keyboard as opposed towithin a notebook. The teacher can ‘tweak’ journal questions for each student based on previousresponses, giving more immediate and pertinent feedback. Responding on-line is moreconvenient for both student and teacher and the ‘locked collaboration’ of Google Apps oftengives students a greater sense of trust with the teacher. Students can also collaborate on documents with each other, creating wikis ofinformation, websites of resources, and sharing knowledge among a group (Thompson, 2008;Van Horn, 2007). Google Doc’s layering of each edit to a document allows users to go back andreview previous revisions as a ‘back-up’ to current work. The use of the Calendar in GoogleApps allows groups to create shared calendars for projects or for individuals to sync theirpersonal calendars with other peers to determine best times and places for collaboration (GoogleApps for Education, 2009). All of these aspects can capitalize on students’ previous knowledgeand abilities in order to have them best show their current application of knowledge. Whetherusing Google Apps as a more convenient and efficient learning management system will alsoinfluence student motivation and engagement with content and instruction is another importanttopic for investigation.Student Motivation and Engagement Net Gen students are wired to use technologies in their everyday lives, but most do notwant strictly on-line instruction (McNeely, 2005). These students want to engage with their
  • 11. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 11work, to dig deeper than basic knowledge of concepts and ideas, and to show what they havelearned and how it has impacted them (Brown, 2005; Considine, Horton, & Moorman, 2009;Deaney & Hennessy, 2007; Mai & Tse-Kian, 2009; Ramaley & Zia, 2005; Roberts, 2005;).Typical results in current research show that students who are given motivated instruction byactively involved teachers are likely to show high levels of engagement with and positiveattitudes toward technology integration into the classroom. These studies use student input aspart of the research process, giving the students an active voice in their opinions about learningas well as in their instruction. While technology is seen as a motivator, it is still the impact of anengaging and motivated teacher who takes an active interest in each student’s learning and iswilling to ‘go the extra mile’ that students say drive them the most (Shihab 2008). Students aremore engaged when their input is considered valuable, and it is important to assess what, if any,knowledge transfer occurs as a result of this engagement.Test Scores and Technology Integration While the use of SaaS in K-12 classrooms is fairly recent, there are studies that show testscores can improve with proper technology implementation. Maninger (2006) cited that over90% of at-risk students who were retaking a course for failure or truancy passed state mandatedtests after technology implementation and supportive devices were introduced. Other studieshave shown progressive test score improvement as students are taught proper use of newtechnologies (Swan, Van t Hooft, Kratcoski, & Unger, 2005). Adams (2008) believes his APLanguage students performed better on the AP exam after implementation of Google Apps forEducation in his classroom. While this trend is promising, there are others who caution that more research in this areais needed, especially with minority or at-risk students (Hew & Brush, 2007; Oblinger, 2005).
  • 12. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 12Others also worry about how to assess technology’s true impact, since many schools cannot riskneither time nor money to implement these projects in a culture of high-stakes testing (Lowther,Inan, Strahl, & Ross, 2008). The culture of high stakes testing often can appear at odds with theuse of SaaS and other technologies that promote constructivist practices over rote memorization.The implementation of action research projects regarding the impact SaaS and cloud computingcan have on student test scores will help further research in this area.Summary The research on the use of SaaS, and especially Google Apps for Education, in K-12classrooms is still in its early stages. Much of what is currently being done looks quitepromising. These projects are showing that the use of collaborative, cooperative groups througha web-based LMS can be beneficial on many fronts, including test scores, student attitudes, andcommunication among all stakeholders in schools (Adams, 2008; Bell, 2010; Deaney &Hennessy, 2007; Hamilton & O’Duffy, 2009; Maninger, 2006; Van Horn, 2007). Implementationof such programs gives students a safe and secure environment for learning both inside andoutside the classroom, and a place to gain a sense of ownership over their own learning. Studentsare learning skills that will incorporate their previous technology knowledge and give them atoolbox for future digital literacy instruction. Students are also seeing how their work can havean impact on the world outside the classroom walls. For now, it appears that Google Apps forEducation may be the best solution for a newly emerging form of educational technology. I amexcited to see if the implementation of Google Apps will be as beneficial to my own students asit was to those found in the literature.
  • 13. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 13Intervention I will implement a school domain locked Google Apps Learning Management System(LMS) with grade 8 students at a preK-8 parochial school to address issues of student initiative,cohesiveness of collaborative group work, and operating system compatibility between studentwork completed at home and in school. The domain will be purchased and an Education accountset up with Google Apps. Students will be given 1 class period each day to work on researchpapers using the Internet as well as the Google Apps for Education Suite. Assignments will beposted in the classroom and online using the Calendar and Gmail features. Students will beexpected to complete work face-to-face as well as outside the classroom using this LMSstructure. Nearly all student work will be completed on-line, with grading and comments writtencollaboratively on documents created by students.Membership of the Action Research Group The participants in this study will be 30 grade 8 students at an urban Midwestern preK-8parochial school and their language arts teacher. There are 16 females and 17 males total. Allstudents have Internet access outside of school and come from six suburban and 1 major urbanareas of average to upper middle income homes. The students are majority Caucasian and all arenative English speakers. Students will each have their own username through Google Apps andare expected to communicate with their teacher and peers face-to-face in class and on-line.Applications used will include Google Docs, Calendar, Sites, Groups, Chat, and iGoogle. Thesestudents were chosen because the teacher has everyone in the grade each day and at thirteen tofourteen years old they are most likely able to handle negotiating Google Apps. The teacher willserve as site administrator and instructor of effective digital literacy techniques to students. Theteacher will also serve as a collaborator with students on all necessary applications. Students will
  • 14. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 14participate in this study via information given in a parent letter and a signed permission slipbetween each student, parent(s), and teacher. Assessments of this study include student surveys,teacher journals, student-and-teacher collaborative journals, and comparisons of academicreflections and behavior reflections before and after Google Apps implementation. Theclassroom teacher along with the middle school team will evaluate the assessments in order todraw up findings about this process; this will require two team meetings outside the normalmeeting schedule.Negotiations to Be Undertaken An initial meeting with my administrator to discuss the possibility of implementingGoogle Apps with a sampling of students was set. After preliminary discussions we would meetwith the other members of the school’s technology team and parcel out specific research areas toreview in order to justify the study. After a week of individual research on the topic, thetechnology team would again meet and determine if the action research study should occur.Based on age, maturity, and previous digital literacy instruction, only grade 8 students would beconsidered for the initial study. Based on results at the conclusion of the study a summarydocument would be created and presented to the School Board for potential implementationthroughout middle school grades in the school. A parent letter and permission slip would be created and sent home with students. Afterall permission slips were returned (signed by each student, their parent(s), and the teacher), theentire grade will walked through the process of logging into Google Apps and how to use thedifferent applications. Students will create a personalized journal in Google Docs with theteacher as a collaborator, create collaborative wiki pages through Google Sites, and join acollective all-grade calendar to use in organizing schoolwork. Middle school team teachers
  • 15. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 15would be asked to complete a survey at the end of the study to determine if the use of GoogleApps transferred to other courses.TimelineEach Phase listed below will take approximately 7 school days to complete, with the entireprocess taking approximately 42 days. ● Phase 1: Permission slips sent home and returned to teacher; students are given usernames and initial passwords. Students are given step-by-step instruction on how to use Google Docs, Sites, Calendar, and Chat and directed to make the teacher a collaborator on at least one of each application. Initial journal prompts sent out at end of phase. Teacher reflective journal started. ● Phase 2: Collect initial data through student-and-teacher collaborative journals about reactions to the initial process, including student posts to teacher responses. Calendar reviewed at the beginning of each teaching block, with changes emailed to all affected. Teacher continues to develop personal journal of the process. Preliminary data reported to administration. Second journal prompts and responses to first entries posted at the end of the phase. Teacher reflective journal continues. ● Phase 3: Modify applications used based on content covered and student journal responses. Collect second data set through student-and-teacher collaborative journals and complete initial review of student information wikis; have students create Presentation outline for research papers making teacher collaborator. Students set up personal homepages using iGoogle. Third journal prompts and responses to second entries posted at the end of the phase. Teacher reflective journal continues.
  • 16. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 16 ● Phase 4: Modify applications used based on content covered and student journal responses. Collect third data set through student-and-teacher collaborative journals, final review of student information wikis, and rough draft of Presentation outlines for research papers making teacher collaborator. Current data reported to administration. Fourth journal prompts and responses to third entries posted at the end of the phase. Teacher reflective journal continues. ● Phase 5: Complete comparison of academic reflections and behavior reflections for grade 8 students before and after implementation of Google Apps, paying special attention to habitual offenders in both areas. Complete final data set through student-and- teacher collaborative journals and teacher reflective journal; code entries. Grade wikis and final draft of presentations, review rough draft of final MLA comparative papers in documents. ● Phase 6: Complete summative survey via Google Docs with students, voluntary survey with parents, and summative survey with other middle school teachers. Gather all data and have all middle school team analyze for results, sharing out preliminary findings with administration (and possibly School Board). Based on findings, determine future implementation of Google Apps with other classes of students, specifically looking toward all middle school implementation.Data Collection and AnalysisStudent-created data Students will create a student-and-teacher collaborative journal that will contain teacherprompts as well as student responses. These responses will include student reactions to usingGoogle Apps, the possible use of Google Apps in other classes outside of language arts,
  • 17. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 17discussions on face-to-face and virtual collaborations, student reactions to virtual due dates (e.g.:journals being due at 11:59 Sunday night as opposed to 4th hour Monday morning), and studentresponses to previous posts. Students will also create an all-class wiki of theses for their MLAcomparative research papers, a script and storyboard for their documentary on Net Gen studentscompleting research, and teacher-and-student collaborative outlines and papers. Students arecollaborative editors of their scoring rubrics on their journals, their interactions in groups, andthe completed documentary. Finally, students will complete a summative survey of theirreactions to the implementation of Google Apps across the grade.Teacher-created data The teacher will collect student responses to the collaborative journals and code them forthemes found. The teacher will also use the edited versions of Google docs to show progressionof student changes to scoring rubrics based on student feedback. The teacher will submit a copyof the personal journal kept during the process to be coded. The teacher will create the surveysgiven to students, their parents, and other middle school team members assessing the value ofGoogle Apps implementation. The teacher and middle school team will review academic andbehavior reflection data from before and after implementation, paying close attention to thosestudents who have been habitual offenders in the past. The teacher will organize all data into amatrix and data analysis document to determine the data’s value to future implementations ofGoogle Apps with students.Analysis Data that will be coded for themes and over-arching topics include student journals,teacher journal, all respondents to the summative survey, and anecdotal notes kept by the teacherduring formative assessment. Coded data will be organized into charts or graphs based on the
  • 18. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 18numbers of students who fall into each theme or category chosen. Potential themes to look forinclude student engagement, time management, group dynamics, and collaboration. Data that will be analyzed statistically include summative rubric scores on student groupwork, summative journal work, the final documentary rubric, and comparison of academic andbehavioral reflection data before and after implementation. The statistical data will be looked atfor changes in number and type of reflection, patterns in scores including outliers and overlyconsistent trends, and charts will be created based on gender, group membership, and homeroom.Issues to address would be score improvements and a reduction in reflections for habituallydisorganized or late-work students, determine if having an online presence has helped shy orquiet students become more engaged in classwork, determine if outlying scores are based oneffort or motivation, and if there is a difference in participation and motivation between malesand females.FindingsDue to current university policy regarding course-related projects involving human participants,this study can not be implemented at this time. Results for a project such as this should beavailable at a later date.Action PlanningThis section of the process will involve reflection on the findings and the impact of final dataresults. Based on the current literature, it is my hope that the implementation of Google Appswill provide positive supports for the research questions. Below are predictive results of theprocess based on the proposed timeline and action plan. All final results will be reported back tothe administrator and School Board, who will make a determination regarding futureimplementation of using Google Apps as a Learning Management System middle school wide.
  • 19. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 19Impact on Research Questions Will the implementation of Google Apps with grade 8 students be an effective andefficient way to enable instruction inside and outside the classroom? Based on research found, Ifeel that it will. As my students begin to use these technologies, I plan on being an active andengaged guide for their process. I will allow them to see me ‘tinker’ with the process toencourage them to do the same, and will help them personalize the experience to understand howit best applies to them (Ramaley & Zia, 2005). Students have completed an all-class survey about the three sub questions as well as theirattitudes toward technology integration for instruction; they will complete an individual survey atthe end of this study regarding their use, attitude toward, and active implementation of GoogleApps. Parents, teachers and staff will also complete a post-study survey regarding any changes inbehaviors they have observed in their classes, again reflecting the three sub questions within theresearch focus. Finally, data taken from Academic Reflections (ARs) for missing work andBehavior Reflections (BRs) for staying on task with computers will be gathered and analyzed forchanges. How will the use of Google Apps with grade 8 students affect student initiative? I believestudents will find a renewed interest in their own learning through the use of Google Apps. In myexperience students enjoy school most when they can have a voice in their instruction. It is alsomore likely that following implementation of Google Apps for Education students will becomeintentional learners and see homework as an extension of the classroom instead of something theteacher requires (Ramaley & Zia, 2005). Students surveys regarding all three research areas aregiven twice in the study: questions regarding their initiative will be included in these surveys.Students also like to share their talents with others; in this way I believe both introverts and
  • 20. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 20extroverts alike will benefit from the use of Google Apps (Clayton-Pedersen & O’Neill, 2005). Ialso believe that students who have a history of late assignments or who have trouble staying ontask while using computers will show a change in their behaviors through the implementation ofthe Google Apps for Education Suite. How will the use of Google Apps with grade 8 students affect cohesiveness of collaborativegroup work? One of the many pitfalls when using group work is to have members of the grouptake on too great a role in the group (dominators) or too little a role in the group (slackers)(Adams, 2008). With an active presence both online and within the classroom, I hope to helpguide these students to participate equally based on their talents and skills. As an online student Ihave found that the ability to interact online via chats or discussion board posts helps influenceall students to take a more active role in group work (Shihab, 2008). It is my hope that withdiverse and mixed groups (the students are in two separate assigned groups for activities, onebased on skill set and the other based on interest) the ‘desire of the whole’ to be active membersand to accomplish group goals will translate to all members of the groups (Yoon & Johnson,2008). I will also intervene with all members who are taking an unequal role virtually and inclass to help guide them toward active group participation. This will include helping introvertsbecome more active online and to help those who are overly social find a way to remain on-taskwhile working in groups (Hamilton & O’Duffy, 2009). For most students, this skill will not beinnate and instead will need to be taught (Kvavik, 2005). Will Google Docs’ universal file compatibility drastically reduce compatibility issuesbetween work completed on computers inside and outside of school? This issue of operatingsystem compatibility has become very prevalent in the last three years of instruction. To helpminimize technology costs my school uses only the Windows XP operating system. With the
  • 21. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 21introduction of Windows 7 and Windows Vista, as well as students having Macintosh, OneLaptop Per Child (OLPC), Linux, or using Open Office (O/O) operating systems, finding a good‘translator’ for files between operating systems has been nearly impossible. The patches suppliedby Microsoft for their systems are not compatible with OpenDNS, our school security system.Teacher laptops have the patch downloaded to them directly, which works when students dopresentations for class, but when a student wishes to open a file from home and continue to workon it at school, this becomes an issue. Our computer lab is not located near the middle schoolrooms and has only networked computers. If a student wishes to open a file of previous work weneed to find a teacher near the computer lab (this is our K-2 wing of the building) and ask him /her to use their laptop for a file conversion. Most middle school teachers have begun bringingtheir laptops down to the lab, but this is bulky and there is no safe desk space for laptopplacement (each seat is occupied by a desktop unit). Also, most of our laptops are older andtherefore have older batteries; it isn’t uncommon to have a teacher laptop shut down if in the labfor two or more periods continuously due to low battery. Having introduced Google Docs to my students for their grammar work at the beginning ofthe year, those who have permission to use Google Docs have developed a system for this fileconversion nightmare: they open their Google Docs file and upload their previous work file totheir account. Then they can download the file back to school computers, which is translated intoWindows XP (Van Horn, 2007). I’ve also had some students complete a ‘rough draft’ of work inGoogle Docs then download it at school to add ‘bling’: colors, backgrounds, visual & soundeffects, slide transitions, special fonts, or specific formats. This is a fairly effective way to dealwith operating system issues (and an excellent example of active, engaged problem-solving), butby implementing the Google Apps Suite I hope to make it more efficient for students.
  • 22. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 22 While using Google Docs seems like a good solution, Google Docs doesn’t have decent printdrivers. It is my hope that with a locked-down domain, students will house their work in thecloud and only need to convert it in order to print. Part of this will be re-establishing habits, asstudents are used to going home and opening the document-maker program on their homecomputers. They need to retrain themselves to instead go to the Web and open a new documentfile in Google Docs. The study will take place over 5 weeks, the approximate amount of time ittakes to retrain a habit. Questions about this process will be included in the post-study survey tosee if students’ habits regarding operating system use have changed as a result of Google Appsimplementation. Questions about this will also be in the post-study survey given to staffmembers, observing if this habit of working with Google Docs has translated to all subjects, or ifstudents have compartmentalized it to only language arts (Kvavik, 2005).
  • 23. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 23ReferencesAdams, D. (2008). Gaga for Google in the Twenty-first century advanced placement language classroom. Clearing House, 82(2), 96-100. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 13 Mar 2010.Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the future. Clearing House, 83(2), 39-43. doi:10.1080/00098650903505415. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 18 March 2010.Brown, M. (2005). Learning spaces. In D. G. Oblinger & J. L. Olinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/LearningSpaces/6072.Buck, S. (2009). Libraries in the cloud: Making a case for Google and Amazon. Computers in Libraries, 29(8), 6-10. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 4 March 2010.Clayton-Pedersen, A. & ONeill, N. (2005). Curricula designed to meet 21st centuryexpectations. In D. G. Oblinger & J. L. Oblinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/CurriculaDesignedtoMe et21stCen/6065.Considine, D., Horton, J., & Moorman, G. (2009). Teaching and reading the millennial generation
  • 24. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 24 through media literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(6), 471-481. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 18 March 2010.Deaney, R. & Hennessy, S. (2007). Sustainability, evolution and dissemination of information and communication technology-supported classroom practice. Research Papers in Education, 22(1), 65-94. doi:10.1080/02671520601152102. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database on 25 February 2010.Fredrick, K. (2008). A gaggle of goodies from Google. (Cover story). School Library Media Activities Monthly, 25(4), 44-46. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 4 March 2010.Google Apps for Education. (2009). Retrieved February 26, 2010, from http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html.Hamilton, P. & O’Duffy, E. (2009). Digital education usage models for the classroom of the future. The 4th International Conference on Virtual Learning ICVL 2009. University of Bucharest and “Gh. Asachi” Technical University of Iasi.Hernández-Ramos, P., & De La Paz, S. (2009). Learning history in middle school by designing multimedia in a project-based learning experience. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(2), 151-173. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 9 March 2010.Hew, K. & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research & Development, 55(3), 223-252. doi:10.1007/s11423-006-9022-5. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database on 19 March 2010.Hofer, M. & Swan, K. (2008). Technological pedagogical content knowledge in action: A case study
  • 25. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 25 of a middle school digital documentary project. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(2), 179-200. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 19 March 2010.Kvavik, R. B. (2005). Convenience, communications and control: How students use technology. In D. G. Oblinger & J. L. Olinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/ConvenienceCommunicationsan dCo/6070.Lowther, D., Inan, F., Strahl, J., & Ross, S. (2008). Does technology integration “work” when key barriers are removed? Educational Media International, 45(3), 195-213. doi:10.1080/09523980802284317. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite databased 19 March 2010.Mai, N. & Tse-Kian, N. (2009). Engaging students in multimedia-mediated constructivist learning – Students perceptions. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(2), 254-266. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 9 Mar 2010.Maninger, R. (2006). Student test scores improved in an English literature course through the use of supportive devices. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 50(5), 37-45. doi:10.1007/s11528-006-0045-x. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 16 March 2010.McNeely, B. (2005). Using technology as a learning tool, not just the cool new thing. In D. G.
  • 26. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 26 Oblinger & J. L. Olinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/UsingTechnologyasaLearningTool/6060.Miller, N., Thompson, N., & Pomykal Franz, D. (2009). Proactive strategies to safeguard young adolescents in the cyberage. Middle School Journal. 41(1), 28-33.Mills, G. E. (2007). Action research: a guide for the teacher researcher (Third ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.Nevin, R. (2009). Supporting 21st century learning through Google Apps. Teacher Librarian, 37(2), 35-38. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 13 Mar 2010.Oblinger, D. G. (2005). Educating the net generation. Retrieved 18 March 2010, from Google Scholar. Located at https://www.msmc.la.edu/Include/learning_resources/todays_learner/OneDayv2-HO.pdf.Ramaley, J. & Zia, L. (2005). The real versus the possible: closing the gaps in engagement and learning. In D. G. Oblinger & J. L. Olinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/TheRealVersusthePossibleClosi n/6064.Roberts, G. (2005). Technology and learning expectations of the net generation. In D. G. Oblinger & J.
  • 27. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 27 L. Olinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Located at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/TechnologyandLearningExpect ati/6056.Shihab, M. (2008). Web 2.0 tools improve teaching and collaboration in english language classrooms. Paper presented at the National Educational Computing Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from GoogleScholar on February 9, 2010. Located at http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Research/NECC_Research_Paper_Archives/NECC 2008/Shihab.pdf.Swan, K., Van t Hooft, M., Kratcoski, A., & Unger, D. (2005). Uses and effects of mobile computing devices in K-8 classrooms. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(1), 99-112. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 11 March 2010.Thompson, J. (2008). Dont be afraid to explore Web 2.0. Education Digest, 74(4), 19-22. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 16 March 2010.Van Horn, R. (2007). Web applications and Google. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(10), 727-792. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database 18 March 2010.Wagner, T. (2008). The Global Achievement Gap. New York: Basic Books.Yoon, S. & Johnson, S. (2008). Phases and patterns of group development in virtual learning teams. Educational Technology Research & Development, 56(5/6), 595-618. doi:10.1007/s11423-007-9078-x. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database.
  • 28. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 28AppendixAppendix A: Sample Student JournalsAppendix B: Sample Teacher JournalAppendix C: Sample Parent letter and permission slipAppendix D: Sample presentation outline (this is hosted at the school’s Google Apps domain; the text only is listed here)Appendix E: Sample student wiki (there is only available through my school’s Google Apps domain; only Dr. Schmidt has access at this time)
  • 29. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 29Appendix A: Sample student journal postsMolly journalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully.1) Well my greatest challenge is knowing how to use google docs like when I mixed up theWWII thesis. I try to go on it when I am home and I play around and I figured out what I need toknow, I hope. I do hope to accomplish being able to fully understand google docs. Sometimes itbothers me when it all pops up in different tabs but it also helps me to, it mostly bothers meusing the schools computer because it brings up a new internet instead of a tab. I do like thecalenders because i can use it for my homework or family stuff and it wont show up on otherpeoples calenders.Molly, I hope as you play with the process it becomes easier to understand and use. I also liketo play around with new technologies in order to better understand them. Im glad youve foundthe calendars useful; I also find them helpful outside of this project.J2: In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Jake’s JournalWhat has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleApps account? How did youovercome these challenges, or are you still working at overcoming them? What would you liketo accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be a difficult or easy process? Isthere any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you a sense of ownership (eg: sharedvs. private applications such as calendars & documents, website creation and maintenance,communication apps with peers)?1. the biggest challenge was probably getting onh each day to see if we have homework2. i havent overcome this but i am working on it by asking if we had homework3. i would like to accomplish being more savvy over the internet not only on gmail but on wordand powerpoint etc. this could be difficult but i can do ithttp://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=6&hid=7&sid=9360b9f3-ee7d-4cf9-8e78-65fbe598a49a%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ308332#db=eric&AN=EJ308332Interesting way to phrase it being savvy over the internet. What do you mean by this? Do you
  • 30. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 30think the Google Apps Suite can give you this opportunity? Also, youll want to post your linkabove to the shared website for your Holocaust experimentation group; put it on the websitewith the name & author of the article & the abstract (or a short summary of the document). Doyou think being savvy will involve using Google Apps with all your classes, or just languagearts? Why?J2: In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Annie’s JournalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully. logging in. yes i forgot to go to the website i just went to google. inturacting with my classmates. i think it will be pretty self explainatory.yeah the video chat thing cause you can see theperson and fully inturact with them and see thier ideas. :)Annie, thanks for the comments. Next journal, please post the question within the answer ( eg:my greatest challenge so far has been logging in). Having just the answer is very disjointed &difficult to comprehend. It will be interesting to see how using video chat will help or hinder theprocess - I use this a lot for Iowa State and it is good to see the person you are speaking with.The most difficult part is the time delay (about 3 seconds); people tend to talk over each otherat first. :)J2: In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Jennie’s journalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully.
  • 31. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 31I think the greatest challenge for me was just getting used to GoogleApps. At first everythingwas a little confusing, but now that I have used it a few times it is actually quite simple. What Iwould like to accomplish is using GoogleApps outside of the English classroom. I want to use itin the future for other classes. I like Googleapps because everything has a set time and you dontever have to question when things are due. It is also easier to communicate to other classmateswhile we arent at school.Jennie, Im glad you were able to overcome the overwhelmingness of everything thatGoogleApps has to offer. I am interested in what you mean by "What I would like to accomplishis using GoogleApps outside of the English classroom." Do you mean for other classes here atSTS, or do you mean in high school? What makes this Suite of apps appealing in that way? Youalso enjoyed the communication and organization aspects of GA - do you think these should beapplied across the board by teachers in the middle school? Why / why not? Excellent job onyour first entries!In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Celies JournalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully Well as you might have figured out, I am not used to the email thing yet i have never had onebefore and it is kind of confusing and frustrating sometimes. i love the fact that you ask if weneed any help or have any questions in your emails and that you show us how to do things on thesmart board. I also love that google is the email that we are using because it is very specific onwhere we might find things. it will take me a little while to get used to things but it could beworst. I really like the fact that the journal is only between you and I, the communication withpeers.Celie, thank you for the honesty of your reflections - learning everything from email to GoogleSites all at once can be a bit overwhelming! :)Im glad that you are finding the communication processes to be helpful; do you think this makesall the information easier to understand, or that it us just parcelled out in smaller chunks?Collaborative documents can be wonderful; do you see the collaboration on the websites andcalendars to be as helpful? Why / why not? Nice work on your first entry!
  • 32. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 32Mrs. ites,thanks for getting back to me. um answer to your questions i think the communication processhelps but when we break it up into smaller parts helps A LOT:) i think the collaboration on thewebsites and calenders help make the work eaiser to understand and helps keep me organized. Iwas also wondering about our research paper, you said in class that you wanted us to have atleast three sources. i was wondering if the sources had to be off the internet? i have been havingtrouble finding info on my topic on the internet and when i do find information it is either notwhat i am looking for or the same information but tweeked a little compared to the otherinformation i had found before. i have found a excellent book called"HITLERS POPE" by JohnCornwell. the book is specifically on my topic but doesnt just show one persons side of view it isa book that tells what happened and the different sides of view. the author who wrote this bookdoes a very good job staying nuetral throughout the whole book not picking sides and explainesboth side of the argument in detail. my mom had also ordered a encyclopedia on the holocaustthat talks about Pope Pius the twelfth. so if you could let me know about what our sources canand cannot be that would be awesome. thanks,CelieCelie - you are amazing and ahead of the ballgame! :) Each student must have at least 2 non-Web sources for their paper, but I dont start prepping them for that until Friday of this week.The book that you have and the book you are ordering sound like EXCELLENT resources.Remember, you are going to argue your point (that the Pope should / could have done more forJews during the Holocaust), so if the author of your book is biased, that is OK. You will have 3pros supporting your thesis and 3 cons going against it in your paper; the persuasion occurs inthe way you arrange those pros and cons. Right before he died John Paul II published anapology for the Churchs role in the Holocaust; Im thinking if we look this up throughEBSCOHost well find some good resources. Excellent start and initiative - now you know whyyou were a natural Organizer! :) - Ms. IIn journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing . Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Maggie’s JournalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully. WEEK 1#1) Getting the googledocs at home, with my computer.
  • 33. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 33#2) I am still working to overcome this challenge. I will try it on my dads computer. He couldhelp me with it at home.#3) I would like to get the feeling of computer files and doing my homework on the computerand email. I think this will be a difficult process. I think that it will be hard to send thehomework, know where to find what to do, and know how to do it.#4) The email makes it feel that its my own. I can talk to people on this site while doing myhomework. Also the calendars are cool so i know what is when.Maggie, thank you for the honesty of your posts. Have you been able to log on to the system onyour home computer, or are you still having difficulties? Remember, you cant just log on togmail, you have to use www.google.com/a/stsdsm.com. Otherwise, you wont get access. Pleaselet me know if I can help in this area.You expressed concern over knowing when and where to find homework, but later talk aboutliking the email, chat, and calendar, which are the ways Ive been notifying you of thehomework. I find this confusing; please give me more detail here so I can understand and makethe system better.Great first post - nice work!In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Henry’s JournalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully.The one challenge I faced was remembering to log on.I forgot to activate the account and fill outthe paperwork/make the journal/fill in WWII subject. However I am starting to get the hang of itand otherwise this has been an easy process. It might be because I have used Google Docs beforefor A Match Made In Hell. I dont find it hard, its all very organized. I now have no problemswith this.I have only used the doument part of google apps before and am very excited to have all theother features including mail and chat. I think it will help we can email each other sources andtalk to each other to help with our projects. I have many options and things I can do on GoogleApps, and it really makes me know its mine. I feel like Im talking to other people through thecomputer because of the way we will be able to look at each others work.Henry, thank you for the honesty of your responses. I am curious how you, Pat, & Matt may see
  • 34. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 34this process differently after your work with Match Made in Hell. Im also pleased to see thatyou are enjoying the collaborative aspect of what the Apps can provide. Do you foresee anyproblems using these different apps for class? Do you see yourself using these apps for otherclasses than language arts? Why?In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.John’s journalWeek 1 questions: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in setting up your GoogleAppsaccount? How did you overcome these challenges, or are you still working at overcomingthem? What would you like to accomplish using GoogleApps, and do you think this will be adifficult or easy process? Is there any aspect of GoogleApps that excites you or gives you asense of ownership (eg: shared vs. private applications such as calendars & documents, websitecreation and maintenance, communication apps with peers)? Please explain your answers fully. I havent realy had any challenges. it was all pretty easy. i think this will be alot easier becausewe can work anytime. i think using google apps will be easy but the work we will have to do forthe documentary will be hard.John, it is interesting that you find the Google Apps to be easy and the documentary to be hard.Why do you think you have this difference of opinion about these two items? Im interested inyour comment about working anytime; do you think it will be helpful to access these documentsas collaborators over the Web both during school and outside school? Why / what not? Be sureto give more details in your future entries; nice start!In journal #1 most of you chose the calendar and the communication components as yourfavorite parts of Google Apps. Explain how these can be useful to you for class as well as forsocializing. Also popular among you was the collaborative nature of Google Apps. Show mehow this could be helpful to you in classes other than language arts. Do you think using GoogleApps in all middle school classes would be beneficial or not? Please give detailed explanationsfor your answers.Appendix B – Sample Teacher Journal
  • 35. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 35 ● Phase 1: After developing my action research questions in class, I took this information to E (administrator) for discussion. I walked her through the Google Apps site that discussed safety, marketing, and testimonials from other educational programs. She voiced valid concerns that most schools using Google Apps are IHE’s and not K-12; we wrote this on our potential research posting. We gathered a few more areas of research to review, including impact on student engagement, impact on student learning settings, potential impact on test scores, informational safety of implementing Google Apps, support for Google Apps, and need for PD to train other teachers. ● The technology team met over lunch to discuss the information E an I had previous found. I brought examples of research articles in the areas previously discussed and recommended search parameters using the school’s loging for EbscoHOST. The team split up information to research (each member had approximately 3 areas to cover) and agreed to complete this initial research before our meeting the following week. I’m hoping some of these articles could be useful for my paper in class. I will be researching impact on student learning settings, potential impact on test scores, and the need for PD to train other teachers. ● Team could not meet following week and instead shared out info found via emails. I met with Ellen to go over the specifics and we decided to give the study a shot, but only with eight graders. The rationale behind this was that I teach all of them in two blocks each day, they have had the most digital literacy instruction, and they will be held more accountable for their own digital literacy next year, especially those attending DCHS. I developed a possible parent letter and permission slip and submitted to E for approval. She made changes and approved the letter and permission slip; I sent both home in Friday
  • 36. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 36 folders. The kids are incredibly excited to do this; I’ve shown both classes what the homepage and the potential website would look like. Several kids have already broken into research groups based on the topics they would like to write about for the MLA paper; I am pumped to see if this infusion of technology can make the research writing process more effective and less dry. ● The last of the permission slips have been returned, so I’m setting the kids loose in the computer lab today – kind of scary, yet exciting! Most were able to access their GAE accounts quickly; two students whose names require numbers were unable to log in, so I’ve contact Google support to rectify the situation. All other students created their own journal and personalized with background colors and fonts, then made me a collaborator. I used the projector to show students my view as webmaster; when they saw that I truly did have access to all their chats as well as their collaborative documents, they began to seriously think about how they were using the chat app. I could hear the murmurs at potentially ‘getting busted’ for poor behaviors on the Chat and Gmail. I emailed out the first journal prompts and instructed students to cut and paste the questions into their newly created documents; we’ll see how well that knowledge transfers to a new situation.Appendix C – sample parent letter and permission slip
  • 37. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 37St. Theresa School5810 Cara Carpenter Avenue Des Moines, IA 50311Phone (515) 277-0178 Fax (515) 255-2415 ___________________________________________ Dear parents and students, One of the big projects covered in grade 8 language arts is the research for and creation of an MLA-formatted research paper. Students have already covered the basics information regarding World War II through non-fiction texts, the Anne Frank play, and various instructional media. Now students are choosing their own arguable thesis, arguments for and against this thesis, and appropriate resources for support. As part of this process, students will create a documentary film on the research process. We will be working with two producers from IPTV as well as two research librarians from Drake’s Cowles Library. Based on student choice and teacher input, students will work in virtual and face-to-face groups in one of five teams: organizers, writers, artistic production, editing, post-production, and communicators. Each group will function across the grade, working face-to-face during class and virtually outside of class. Students will also receive their own log-on for a new school-sponsored GoogleApps account. This account will be their primary source of communication: students will create calendars of short & long term schedules, wikis of information, images, and video, websites for each group’s work and an all-class website, discussion boards, email, virtual chat with the experts from IPTV & Cowles Library, and to check in with other team members, creation of documents and storyboards, and for communication regarding the premiere of the finished documentary. Each student’s login matches their AR web login; their username is their lunch number with an additional three zeroes at the end (see example below) John Smith AR login: JSMIT GoogleApps username: jsmit@stsdsm.com John’s lunch code: 123 GoogleApps password: 123000 I recommend that all students and parents log in to their new account together, as the students will be asked to change their password from the AR-default-plus-000 to one of their choosing. While this is not required, it is a good time for students and parents to discuss appropriate use of their new account. These accounts will be locked down; meaning those with non-domain (stsdsm.com) addresses will not be allowed to join. Student behaviors using GoogleApps are an extension of the classroom; the same behavior rules and consequences apply. Inappropriate use of these technologies inside or outside the school campus will result in a student loss of technology privileges. I am confident that given the opportunity to function as adults virtually and within the classroom these students will rise to the challenge. This project is based in the theory of constructivism, where students create a physical product applying their gained knowledge. It is also an example of Project Based Learning, where students learn required curriculum in a real-world setting working with experts within a field of study. Many of our students choose to attend Dowling Catholic, where creation of a science documentary is already part of the curriculum. It is my hope that this project will give our grade 8 students a solid foundation in organizational skills, group and individual goal setting and work skills, technology skills, and workplace skills they can capitalize on during their high school years. Once all students have signed up for the site and are placed into groups, a copy of the unit’s goals, processes, and project timelines will be created by students and Ms. Ites placed on the site.
  • 38. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 38 Ms. Ites will maintain an active presence on the site and will serve as its administrator; any questions or concerns about the account, the process, or the completed documentary can be directed to her or members of the communicator committee. There will be twice-weekly updates on the websites attached to this site; I encourage students and parents to review these together. Parents and students, please write your name, and sign you name on the contract form attached. Students, please bring these back to Ms. Ites no later than Monday, March 29th, as students are to have the initial Student Interests Survey hosted through GoogleApps done by this time. The projected premiere of the documentary will be Friday, April 23rd in the afternoon; this date will be subject to change as the project ‘takes flight’ and students begin their work. Thank you for your support of student learning and Catholic education, Ms. Ites cites@stsdsm.com● - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Parent / Student / Teacher Contract ● I agree to have my student participate fully in the documentary covering good research practices at St. Theresa School during the 2009- 2010 school year. This process includes my child’s participation in GoogleApps through the stsdsm.com domain.Parent written name Parent signature ● I agree to participate fully in the documentary covering good research practices at St. Theresa School during the 2009- 2010 school year. This includes my school appropriate participation in GoogleApps through the stsdsm.com domain. I understand that my misuse of these technologies will result in a loss of technology privileges on the St. Theresa School campus and could result in my elimination from the GoogleApps domain.Student written name Student signature ● I agree to work with students to help increase their technology, organization, cooperative, research, and writing skills through the use of GoogleApps for the school year 2009-2010 and in the creation of the student documentary. I will maintain an active presence on the hosting site and assist students in their work virtually and face-to-face. I will communicate with parents and students about all aspects of the project and strive to maintain a safe environment virtually and face-to-face.Teacher written name Teacher signatureAppendix D – Sample Google presentation outline (converted from a Google Presentation into text only)
  • 39. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 39Title: Experimentation SHOULD BE USED TODAY By: SydneyTHESIS The results of Nazi experimentation should be used today.Strongest con Strongest con= That it was RUTHLESS and HORRID for the VICTIMS and would be DISGRACEFUL to use the information gained ● They performed these studies without the CONSENT of the VICTIMS, who SUFFERED INDESCRIBABLE PAIN, MUTILATION, PERMINATE DISABILITY, or in many cases DEATH as a result ● After all the living data was taken the twins would be killed by a single injection of chloroform in the heart. Care was taken to insure the twins died at the same time. ● The two main methods used to freeze the victim were to put the person in a icy vat of water or to put the victim outside naked in sub-zero temperatures. ● http://www.remember.org/educate/medexp.html ● http://books.google.com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=_VH-7oeT4lEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=holocaust+experiments&ots=7PKpWyv2 hF&sig=Td8oKQHeUkjCaU7kFZuRXmoF_5Y#v=onepage&q=holocaust %20experiments&f=falsezWeakest Pro Weakest pro= that it picked only CERTAIN people of certain traits ● They picked GYPSIS, HOMOSEXUALS, MEN, WOMEN, people with MENTAL ILLNESS, DWARFS, BLIND, DEAF, MUTE, and TWINS. This is giving a wide variety of uses of the EXPERIMENTATION ● Russian men,Blacks, Hispanics ● http://www.remember.org/educate/medexp.html ● http://books.google.com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=_VH-7oeT4lEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=holocaust+experiments&ots=7PKpWyv2 hF&sig=Td8oKQHeUkjCaU7kFZuRXmoF_5Y#v=onepage&q=holocaust %20experiments&f=falsez page 4Middle Con Middle Con= that the results of the experiments may not be correct since TENSIONS and NERVES and not being a willing donor to the EXPERIMENTATION could affect how the RESULTS came out
  • 40. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 40 ● When you have a WILLING DONOR they are more RELAXED and know what is coming. When you have someone who is AFRAID, NERVOUS, TENSED, the OUTCOMES will be DIFFERENT then if they were willing DONORS ● http://www.auschwitz.dk/doctors.htm ● Measurements of heads, eyes, nose, blood were required.tubes being forced through their noses and into their lungs.The young men were crying so loud that Doctor Mengele ordered they be gagged. ● http://www.remember.org/educate/medexp.html Middle Pro Middle Pro= it will help us also UNDERSTAND what the JEWISH people and others went through at the mercy of the GERMAN DOCTORS ● If we use the MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION we can better UNDERSTAND what the GERMANS did to the JEWS. If we know more the better we can LEARN from the MISTAKES of the PAST and be sure NEVER to let this HAPPEN AGAIN ● The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be military occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed by the Nazis. 1.5 million children were murdered. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children. offered so much to mankind. ● http://isurvived.org/TOC-I.html#Up ● http://www.auschwitz.dk/doctors.htm Weakest con Weakest Con= that they were already in BAD HEALTH that it again was not ACCURATE ● The people when they came to BLOCK 10 they were already in BAD HEALTH so with that said the EXPERIMENTS would not be ACCURATE. People when getting SURGERY or something MEDICAL are in GOOD enough HEALTH for it to WORK. ● http://en.auschwitz.org.pl/m/ ● PETER ROSSLER, then 11 years old, watched helplessly as his father died in the ghetto. He was 46. Peters mother died a few months later, at 36. Nine more close relatives died in the ghetto or were deported to death or labour camps. ● http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=2&hid=2&sid=8ce9db99-cab3-4f6d-bf6f- e702677b3158%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=n5h&AN=SYD-5P2A9L2R4LGB6VGS566Strongest Pro Strongest Pro= That it already happened and it was HORRIBLE but what if we could BENEFIT from what happened and FIX other people wouldnt that be WORTH the WORLD so many DIED
  • 41. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 41 but if you could SAVE just one person from the INFORMATION we gained wouldnt that be ENOUGH. ● The JEWISH people DIED at the MERCY of the GERMAN soldiers. They were TORTURED and KILLED then BURNED in the CREMATORIUMS. If people now in this day and age could BENEFIT from the HORRORS of the PAST we should SAVE people now then let them SUFFER and DIE when MAYBE there is a CURE somewhere in those documents. In my opinion people would REMEMBER the HOLOCAUST alot more if there was a semi good ENDING in this HORRIBLE STORY. ● http://en.auschwitz.org.pl/m/ ● http://books.google.com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=_VH-7oeT4lEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=holocaust+experiments&ots=7PKpWyv2 hF&sig=Td8oKQHeUkjCaU7kFZuRXmoF_5Y#v=onepage&q=holocaust %20experiments&f=falsez ●re-state Without a doubt the results from Nazi experimentation should be used today.work sited ● http://isurvived.org/TOC-I.html#Up ● ● http://www.auschwitz.dk/doctors.htm ● ● http://www.remember.org/educate/medexp.html ● ● http://books.google.com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=_VH-7oeT4lEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=holocaust+experiments&ots=7PKpWyv2 hF&sig=Td8oKQHeUkjCaU7kFZuRXmoF_5Y#v=onepage&q=holocaust %20experiments&f=falsez ● ● http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=11&hid=3&sid=3a8d2ee2-80e8-4378- be04-49b920b86f79%40sessionmgr4&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=eric&AN=EJ762533 ● ● http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CEt6nlBbKMIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq= %22experiments%2Btwins%22+ %2BMengele&ots=foJT1B_q48&sig=fAPjDVJUXjbc55oJyuimeXdy8n0#v=onepage&q= %22experiments%2Btwins%22%20%2BMengele&f=false ● ● http://en.auschwitz.org.pl/m/Appendix E – Sample student wiki
  • 42. Google Apps in a Grade 8 Classroom 42 (This is only available through the St. Theresa School Google Apps domain; Dr. Schmidt has access to this artifact)