What is GAFE / GAFE History In Our School District and School
GAFE is a suite of tools made available by Google for education purposes. It contains some of the things you may already be familiar with like a calendar, docs and slides. In addition, it offers several other valuable ‘apps’ for education – we can take advantage of many additional tools that teachers / students can use to enhance collaboration, make thinking and learning more visible and more shareable both for students and for parents and staff. The goal when accessing this technology is to enhance current teaching and the learning opportunities for teachers and students. Our goal, in the end, is to apply judicious, and appropriate use of technology to support all learners that is thoughtfully aligned with the new BC Curriculum.
GAFE applications have been used extensively at a pilot school in our district and have been monitored closely by district leadership staff. In a way, they are no different than other solitary applications we may have used or already be using separately (ie Microsoft products, Apple Products and apps), but they are all in one place, are highly compatible, shareable and accessible. These factors make them more useful and a superior choice for us.
We have been considering this initiative for a significant period of time as has the school district at large. As is the case with other resources, individual teachers will always decide how and when they will be used. At no time will GAFE be replacing many of the important things that go on in our elementary classrooms nor will it be used as an electronic delivery of curriculum. Much of what we do with students will not change because of these tools. We will not be taking anything away from our curriculum or replacing it – these applications will be used when they make the most sense for teaching, thinking and learning. Students whose families do not consent to Google Apps for Education will have access to other technology applications as they would now – however, we feel strongly that the Google suite is superior.
Student accounts are part of a district controlled domain and students cannot send information outside it or receive information from outside it. Parents have full access and can look on their student’s drive / portfolio at any time, even when students are actively working in it. It is inclusive and transparent.
‘Screen Time’ has raised questions amongst our community – this is something we have discussed in depth. Having some screen time for thinking and learning at school is important and we will monitor this carefully – devices will only be used under teacher supervision when they can enhance learning and will not be for playing games / watching videos etc. unless there is a significant and specific benefit ie. a student doing research / watching a video that shows how a process occurs and the student watching and listening while taking notes.
We would be happy to have more in depth conversations if you would like more information or have more questions. If this is the case, please let us know and we will be happy to contact you.
Information from our School District 61 Website:
Student GAFE Account
What is a Google Apps for Education Student Account?
A Google Apps for Education (GAFE) student account allows you to access your learning within a secure online collaboration platform provided and managed by the School District. GAFE offers unlimited online file storage and is to be used for educational purposes along with other Google Apps tools. These tools are accessible from any device that has access to the internet.
Google Apps for Education (GAFE)
Mobile devices and cloud-based software are becoming increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives. We recognize the value of these technologies as relevant and engaging tools for students to develop digital literacy skills and to amplify quality teaching and learning.
Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a powerful collection of secure online collaboration and productivity tools for students and teachers, as well as unlimited online file storage to be used for educational purposes. These tools are accessible from any network that is connected to the internet and offer tremendous opportunities for students to extend learning beyond their school and into their home and community.
Greater Victoria School District 61 supports GAFE for students and teachers. The use of GAFE is voluntary and student and/or parent consent is required. The GAFE platform aligns with the Information Technology Department Plan , as well as allows us to:
- improve student and teacher workflow for collaboration and sharing of learning;
- support and enhance the delivery of educational services to students;
- enhance opportunities for staff to participate in professional development activities;
Please visit this link if you would like to go directly to a google site for more information regarding GAFE