Today I joined my ICT cluster - Kapiti- for a day with Dorothy Burt from the Manaiakalani cluster in Auckland. It was my first real look at how google apps might be used very effectively in a classroom. A feature that she mentioned that I really liked was the Teacher Dashboard. This was really the selling point for me.
The group that Dorothy Burt comes from are using 1 to 1 devices in the classroom and I liked that too, and their way of bringing that about. They have formed a trust, and they lease to buy to their students. It is a decile one area and they make the cost very small per week.
While our school may not go this way, my Principal's brain was ticking over beside me, and I could see that we will explore it with our Board and parents and find our way of doing it. So I am rather excited by that.
I have been a great user and fan of Edublogs for the last few years because of the way I can manage the student blogs. However I now see that next year I would definitely consider switching to Blogger and using the teacher dashboard alongside it. I can see how student emails and google docs - which we already have - and other websites that we already belong to will seamlessly fit into this.
My Principal has already emailed harpara.com to discuss with them our buying Teacher Dashboard, so I think it won't be long before we are giving it a whirl.