#GAFE Impact Report: What Teachers Need

Wednesday, March 23, 20166:02 PM

One of the most important goals from the #GAFE Impact Report was to determine how teachers were using Google Apps for Education in their classrooms and what they needed to use it more regularly and effectively. The more we understand about teachers’ use, perceptions, and needs, the better they can be addressed to increase teacher comfort and impact and affect student learning.

Most teacher and students saw the positive impact of GAFE on student learning, engagement, and the quality of work, but most teachers’ needs were not met. They needed more access, time, and training to really be able to incorporate technology meaningfully in their classrooms. I had hoped for the data from this study to support what I already knew to be true: we were making great steps forward but not doing enough to support professional learning and development in technology.

In this post, I will share an overview of what the teachers shared about their use and needs. While the data probably isn’t surprising, it is important as it validates what many of us already know: we need recursive, timely, and hands-on professional learning for regular and effective technology implementation in our classrooms.

This post is part 4 in my series #GAFE Impact Report, sharing data and analysis about student and teacher perceptions of the impact of Google Apps for Education. The results come from a 2014 survey I designed, implemented, and analyzed in my school. Be sure to check out Part 1: Overview & Infographic, Part 2: Comparing Surveys & Data, and Part 3: Summary of Findings & Analysis. Though limited to my school, I believe these results to be informative and representative of many schools in the early stages of GAFE integration. Please share your thoughts and feedback on these posts, the survey, or the findings in the comments or on Twitter.

GAFE Use & Impact

65% of teachers agree that GAFE has a positive impact on student learning and 35% agree that it positively impact teacher instruction. Interestingly, the disagree statistics were small (9% and 16%, respectively) and the undecided much higher. This made perfect sense as many teachers did not have regular access to technology to training to use it, so they were still undecided about the impact.

However, only 35% of teachers felt prepared to use GAFE effectively in the classroom and 40% of teachers say the have been able to use GAFE more than sometimes this school year. While the impact and positive perceptions are there, we needed to do more to increase training and access.

When asked which GAFE tools they were using, teachers most often responded with Drive, Communities, Classroom, and Sites.

What Teachers Need

Teacher need more access to technology and more training to use it effectively:

In written responses, almost every teacher wrote about the need for more training. According the survey results, teachers want training in the following areas:
  • How to use GAFE with individual training for the different apps
  • How to teach students to use GAFE and Chromebooks
  • How to implement GAFE in the classroom for best practices
  • How to implement GAFE for specific subject area classes or student populations
  • Concrete modeling and examples of best practices 

Most commonly, teachers requested small group trainings over a long period of time during contractual hours rather than opt-in trainings outside of the school day.

One Year Later

It’s been over a year since the #GAFE Impact Report and a lot has changed since then. More and more teachers have access to technology and we’ve offered multiple cohorts of opt-in training along with differentiated sessions during professional development days as much as possible.

Next time I write about this survey and analysis, I’d like to address how it’s changed my views on professional learning and the ways we’ve evolved since. One day soon, I’d like to update the survey and try it again to see how the data supports the shifts I’ve seen in my school. As a technology coach, I have the privilege of visiting classrooms and experiencing this change but having the data to support it is always valuable.

Now you, dear reader, have access to it all: the Summary Report, Comparative Data, Infographic, Student Survey, and Teacher Survey. I hope it helps you improve professional learning to impact students through technology.

As always, please leave your comments below or reach out on Twitter. I would love to hear what you think about this study, your own ideas about GAFE’s impact, or ways to improve the study for next time.

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