Update: Halfway through the Year on Google Apps for Education

If you have been following my earlier posts, you may remember that I am coordinating a district-wide implementation of Google Apps for Education.  We recently surveyed the staff, and I thought I might post some of the results.

Gmail: We found that usage and confidence using Gmail was high, as we expected to see.  We are always concerned to see that half a dozen people report “I don’t use it at all,” but in all, usage of Gmail is good.

Calendar:  We are finding that this is under-utilized.  About 30% of the staff is using this on a regular basis.  Some cite the familiarity of another calendar program and/or use of cell phone app as reason not to use, but most are just not yet comfortable or knowledgeable enough to use it on a regular basis.

Docs:  This was also under-utilized, but the percentages were pretty much what we expected.  About 25% use it regularly, another half use it on occasion, and a quarter don’t at all.  Some tried it briefly and didn’t like it and quit using it.  Most cited simply preferring the Microsoft versions, but some just never got on board.

The most troubling stat was for the following question:

  • How often have you emailed or shared a document with a student?
    • It’s getting routine
    • 5-10 times
    • A few times
    • I’ve tried it
    • I haven’t tried it
    • This is not applicable or inappropriate for my grade or position

Any guesses which one nearly 80% chose?  Not applicable or inappropriate.  We put this option because we knew there would be secretaries and paras taking the survey as well, but a great many of the people who chose this option were classroom teachers,and many of them at the 7-12 level.  We find this concerning.

So, overall, I think we are making slow but steady progress here, but that last statistic leads us to question whether we have not sufficiently brought across the advantages of sharing materials with students in this way, or if we are still fighting the feeling that there is somehow something wrong with connecting with students digitally.

If I figure that one out, I will let you know.  Thanks for reading.


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