Google applauds how Moreau Catholic students teach
Google search strategies to peers
GOOGLE FILMING ON MOREAU CAMPUS
As Google was embarking on efforts to launch their new search education website, a site geared for educators to help them enhance their online search strategies as well as their online search instruction, the Moreau Catholic library team was in discussions with Tasha Bergstrom-Michelson, of the Google Search Education Team, about how search instruction could be improved. Together, they brainstromed a peer training model to teach search to students. Google wanted to capture the action and asked if they could bring their film crew to Moreau Catholic to witness firsthand how search education was uniquely being delivered at Moreau Catholic and feature this instruction on their new site.
There is much difficulty in getting students to understand they can improve their search strategies. Many students feel they are expert searchers. The library team came up with a peer training model hoping to accomplish two goals: (1) leverage the credibility students have with fellow students, and (2) reach a large portion of the student body at one time.
Moreau Catholic already had a peer training model in place through the Link Crew program. Students on Link Crew are the upper division students who serve as mentors to 9th graders. They go into 9th grade classrooms throughout the school year to present seminars on topics such as coping with stress around finals. 20 Link Leaders volunteered to help the library team teach advanced searching skills to all 9th graders. The library team trained link crew leaders after school and the first question asked of the students was “Do you consider yourselves expert searchers?”. The answer was not surprisingly, “YES”. The library team set about to change this perception teaching Link Leaders about Google’s left hand toolbar and Google search operators.
In pairs, Link Leaders tailored the library team’s lesson plan and examples to what 9th graders would find interesting and useful. The students came up with amazing examples, examples that were relevant to 9th grade information needs such as, “How can I find a dance pass on the Moreau Catholic website?” (dance pass and site: moreaucatholic.org).
Although the library team teaches search skills in the library every day, they were able to reach a broader audience in a different way through this project. It was an added benefit that 9th grade teachers were exposed to the lesson and the Link Crew Leader trainers gained the deepest understanding of the possibilities of search.
At Moreau Catholic High School we believe that technology is an integral part of our students’ lives and futures. At Moreau Catholic, technology is a ubiquitous part of the learning environment. At Moreau Catholic, access to the best technology tools to enhance student learning is a top priority. So, Moreau Catholic has gone Google! Students, faculty and staff will use an impressive array of communication and collaboration tools at their disposal through the use of Google Apps for Education.
Google Apps for Education is Google’s set of hosted and customizable communications services. Moreau Catholic students, faculty and staff now have access to free communications tools including email, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing under the moreaucatholic.org domain name.
MCHS Director of Technology, Shawna Martin, explained the reason for adopting the Google Apps set of tools. “We were looking for a cost-effective solution to help us expand our email capacity both in terms of the volume of users and the amount of storage available to them. Google Apps allows each user up to 7 GB of free storage for email and also provides essential services like email archiving and spam filtering. Additionally, we also can provide all of our users consolidated access to the other excellent tools in Google Apps. And all of this comes bundled at the most cost-effective price – free!”
Provides users with 7 gigabytes of storage, highly effective spam filtering and powerful search. Gmail includes instant messaging within the email interface. Available at mail.moreaucatholic.org
An online calendar that makes it easy for people to organize their lives and share schedules with others. Available at calendar.moreaucatholic.org
Lets users make PC-to-PC voice calls and send instant messages to each other for free. Available through the mail interface
Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Drawings™
Allows people to create and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and drawing without the need to email attachments back and forth. Different people from within the school can work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and controls enable people to define who can and cannot share the information. Available at docs.moreaucatholic.org
This what-you-see-what-you-get web page authoring tool lets users build simple web pages and publish them to the web even if they dont have any website building experience. Students will use Google Sites to build online portfolios of their work. Available at sites.moreaucatholic.org
Groups let students and teachers form groups to facilitate communication and collaboration. Available at groups.moreaucatholic.org