HSCDSB Unveils Google Apps for Education

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Four members of the HSCDSB Digital Learning Steering Committee (who presented at the Board meeting) (l to r) Roseanne Zagordo, Special Education Coordinator; Danielle Oak-Brown, Assistive Technology Resource Teacher; Lorenzo DiCerbo, Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact; Pat Pelletier, Manager Information Technology Department

Having embraced information technology in the classroom for over a decade, the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) has now implemented a plan to allow students and staff to access one more online educational tool beyond the school day.

The formal unveiling of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is underway at all schools in the Board.  The free suite of tools allows students to access, create, and share documents from any location with Internet access.  GAFE allows for collaboration between teachers and students through a variety of applications.

“Google Apps for Education is just the latest initiative the Board has put in place to enhance the learning experience of our students.  We are confident that using this platform will help to improve student achievement at all grade levels,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, John Stadnyk.

Another feature of GAFE is that it allows students working together on a project or assignment to continue to interact beyond school hours, even if they can’t meet in the same physical space.  Access to the app is secured, as is all information compiled.

“We have informed parents of the ability of their children to access GAFE and hope that they take the opportunity to join their children when they use this app. It is a tool that can expand horizons and gives students the opportunity to utilize a technology that they may be required to utilize when they move to post-secondary education and the workplace,” said HSCDSB Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact, Lorenzo DiCerbo.

Yet another feature of GAFE is its extensions, one of which provides students with access to assistive technologies, such as speech-to-text or text-to-speech software.

Google Apps for Education comes free of advertising and all data entered into users’ accounts is the property of the user or those whom the user has granted access to the information