Media release: Floyd County Schools is in the first class of officially recognized school districts in the country as a Google for Education Reference District.
“It means the world to me. Mostly because districts have to be nominated by Google. Being named a Google Reference District proves that our district is being recognized, by a global community, for all the hard work our technology staff, teachers, and school leaders have done to improve learning in the classroom,” said Craig Ellison, FCS Executive Director of Technology and Media Services.
Google for Education Reference Districts are districts that demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology, including G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.
According to the Google for Education website, FCS joins a select group of 84 innovative districts and independent schools around the country that are identified by peers as a leader in educational innovation and transformation. Benefits to being a member of this program include joining Google’s Trusted Tester program, having the district’s Story of Impact shared on the Google for Education website, and the opportunity to share their experiences, successes, and learnings with Google for Education tools within their communities as well as showcased by Google for Education nationally.
As part of the invitation-only application process to become a Reference District, FCS had to create a presentation explaining the ways they tackled the seven elements of transformation, which are defined within the Google for Education Transformation Center as:
Training / Professional Development
Teaching, Learning, & Assessment
Funding & Sustainability
Major highlights in the Story of Impact include the impression made by the support of FCS Superintendent, Dr. John Jackson and the Floyd County Board of Education to purchase devices via Federal programs and the Striving Reader Grant. The Board’s approval of $500,000 in funds allowed 114 FCS teachers to be rewarded with sets of chromebooks due to their exemplary application and lesson plan, positively impacting almost 3,000 students in FCS.
“Our Chromebook Roll Out Grant opportunities have been some of the most exciting times I have experienced during my career. The pure joy on our principals’ faces when the grant winners from their schools were announced! And, the video clips I viewed of teachers being presented with classroom sets of Chromebooks by their principals are some of my happiest moments as an educator,” said Dr. John Jackson, Superintendent. “This is what it’s all about; teachers desiring to improve their craft and being provided with the resources they need, and really being excited about it! This is a win for our teachers and a win for our students.“
Read Floyd County Schools’ entire Story of Impact that showcases the district’s use of Google for Education tools, and articulates measurable benefits that have resulted from the use of those tools here: https://goo.gl/Sk2L2U.
Program membership is re-evaluated on an annual basis and continued participation is decided by the participant.
Digital honors for Rome City Schools: Rome City Schools recently was announced as a Top 10 ranked Digital School District in the nation for the 2016-2017 school year, reports Matt Stover, the school system’s Director of Technology and Network Services. The update: “The Center for Digital Education honored several school districts with top honors in its 13th Annual Digital School Districts Survey at the National School Board Association Conference in Denver on March 25.” Rome was tied for 10th with Marietta, Ga., City Schools in the ‘Mid-sized Student Population Districts Category (3,000 – 12,000 students). About the awards: “The Center for Digital Education’s 2016-17 Digital School Districts Survey Awards generates top 10 rankings that recognize districts that excel in the following areas: integrating technology for innovative curriculum and improved student learning; using technology to govern the district; communication with students, parents and the community; or improving district operations. The rankings are based on information gathered from hundreds of participating districts about digital and emerging technologies; data management and safety; and learning and delivery methods.”