Whether it’s a 3D printer, a language app, or a Chromebook on a student’s desk, technology represents potential. The results can be profound, but learning how to make the most of new tools often requires dedication outside of the standard school day.
We spoke with teachers and administrators at Cicero Public School District 99 in Illinois and Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools in Ohio about how they designed technology professional development programs to engage teachers for the long term. Here we share three lessons learned from their experiences building programs that impact educators and students alike.
Lesson 1: Incentives help overcome inertia
When the Cicero Public School District 99 board set the goal of giving every child access to a Chromebook, professional development for teachers became a top priority. CIO Cao Mac believed any tech rollout was bound to fail unless teachers got the right training. So his team came up with a plan to motivate teachers to get Google Certified—they’d offer them early access to new classroom devices.
The district now has 104 Google Certified Educators, and has seen a shift in how teachers use devices in the classroom. Before the training, students used laptops and tablets for activities like math games and music videos. Two months after the Chromebook rollout, the top five sites accessed across the district included Google Classroom, Google Docs and Khan Academy. “Right off the bat, they were no longer using their machines randomly,” Mac says. “Their use was more focused.”
Lesson 2: Time is a precious resource
Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District is the first public school district to train all of its teachers to become Google Certified Educators. Administrators say they achieved 100 percent participation by customizing the program around teachers’ schedules.
“We made it easy for teachers get certified whenever it was most convenient,” says Nancy Kevern, a technology integration and instructional coach at Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools. “Grouping teachers by grade level helped us emphasize the lessons they would find most useful.”
The district also started a committee that works on solutions for fitting professional development into teachers’ busy schedules. They’ve proposed incorporating trainings into the school day—for instance, by delaying student start times.
Lesson 3: Community makes a movement
Cicero Public School District 99 took a grassroots approach to training its teachers. A group of technology resource teachers actively recruited teachers to get certified, leveraging their relationships to build a team of early adopters. This group influenced the rest of the district.
“We knew if these ambassadors were on board, their friends would be, too,” Mac says. “Adoption needs to happen teacher by teacher, grade by grade.”
This momentum has led Cicero Public School District 99 to extend its 1:1 Chromebook program to grades K-8. None of this would have been possible without support from teachers and the entire district.
This isn’t my initiative,” Mac says. “This is the village of Cicero’s initiative. This is ours.
CIO at Cicero Public School District 99
Professional development is about more than introducing new tools. By helping educators develop the skills and confidence to grow professionally, school districts are investing in their students and building cultures that embrace technology. “It doesn’t matter how many devices you have,” Mac says. “If you don’t know how to integrate technology with teaching, it becomes just another add on.”
Visit the Training Center to learn more about the Google for Education certification programs. And if you’re a district interested in help from a Certified Professional Development Partner, learn more here.
Click! Click! Click! and you are done. Yes, acquiring new users and re-engaging with existing users of your app is as simple as that in the tried and tested ‘promote your app’ feature in the Windows Dev Center. If you are not familiar with these capabilities, learn more about them here.
This blog is about making promotions work for you so that the ad campaigns that you create can acquire the right set of users at the lowest cost.
Do choose auto-targeting unless you are 100% sure of your game/app audience profile.
Choosing manual targeting without knowing the right audience profile may end up giving bad ROI for the campaign.
For e.g. most card/casino based games work well with age group 50+ while racing games work with 18+ male.
Let our machine learning algorithms do the work for you.
Do use a good descriptive tagline in the ad creative.
Most users often forget to the fill the custom tagline or write a tagline that is very generic.
Creatives with taglines have higher click through rates compared to those that don’t.
Highlighting the differentiating/unique features of the app also increases the click through rates.
Do leverage the power of free campaigns.
Create house campaigns that run all the time without fail if you have multiple ad monetized apps.
Opt-in to community program to earn credits for displaying other developers’ app install ads. You can use those credits to run free app promotions.
Create community campaigns to get featured in apps owned by other developers who have opted in to the program for spending your credits.
Don’t choose extremely low budgets.
We have seen a few developers create monthly campaigns with budgets as low as $50.
Campaigns with monthly budgets lower than $100 would not make a sufficient dent in the bottom-line of the business, given they help in acquiring anywhere between 70 to 100 new users.
For running a sustainable business, calculate the required average number of monthly active users, and then choose a budget that would help acquire a percentage of those users.
Don’t target a generic segment in re-engagement campaigns.
Re-engagement campaigns help you target specific segments of users with a precise objective.
Creating a generic segment will lead to a bad ROI with no objective met at the end of the campaign period.
For example, if you target all the users who have used the app in the last week, the campaign will not have any results unless there is a new feature in the app and the highlight is captured in the ad creative.
Don’t forget to monitor the campaigns regularly.
Ad campaign ROI can change based on the marketplace dynamics.
Machine learning algorithms help optimize for the best ROI in the backend, but campaign delivery might take a hit due to extremely low budget or manual targeting of a niche segment of users who are not available in the apps with ads.
Tweak the campaigns in the initial few days/weeks to end up with the best combination of creatives/budget/target audience to get the best ROI.
Stay tuned for additional tips to increase ad monetization over the next few weeks.
The web is helping small businesses grow. As the place where people turn to learn, discover, find, and buy things, it’s connecting customers to small businesses and small businesses to customers. Being online can have a big impact–in fact, businesses that are online grow 40 percent faster and are twice as likely to create new jobs than those that remain offline.
We see the power of the web working for American small businesses. Millions of small businesses are found on Google Search and Maps every single day across the nation.
With a little bit of elbow grease and the help of technology, we believe every business can grow online. So together with our partners, we’re continuing our mission to help make that happen. Through our Get Your Business Online initiative, we’re bringing together free resources and tools to help you this National Small Business Week and beyond.
Learn from the pros through bite-sized lessons
Build your online business and marketing skills with five-minute lessons from Primer, our free mobile app. To celebrate National Small Business Week, we’re happy to announce new lessons created by small business experts Anita Campbell, John Jantsch, Ramon Ray, and Rhonda Abrams. Each has created a special lesson from their decades of experience working with and coaching small businesses. We’re also excited to share new web-based lessons.
Get your business online
Be where your customers are. Get your free listing on Google Search and Maps. Show pictures of your business, list your hours, and add your phone number so customers can just click to call you or get directions. Businesses with complete listings are considered twice as reputable. Use this handy tool to get started.
Make sure your website works on mobile
Did you know that more than half of all Google searches happen on mobile phones? Mobile shoppers want quick results–53 percent say they’ll wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site. How fast does your website load? Use the free Test My Site tool to see how well your site works on mobile. We’ll email you a personalized assessment with specific recommendations on how to make it better.
Want even more?
During National Small Business Week (and throughout the year), Google and our partners are hosting in-person workshops to help you grow your business online. Find a workshop near you.
Small businesses are the heart of our communities. Thank you for making the places we call home, home.
On his first day as Director of Kayas Cultural College, Kyle Trumpour walked in met his entire student body, of 13 students. Eight hours north of Edmonton, Kayas College, is a First Nation college located in the remote area of Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta. A difficult socioeconomic climate, combined with a large geographic expanse and harsh weather, had made it challenging for people living there to access education. Furthermore, the dated method of communicating and teaching between the college’s three campuses was extremely difficult and inefficient for the students and the teachers. Each of them lacked the face-to-face interactions that are fundamental to a teacher/student relationship.
Trumpour knew if the school was to thrive, and if lives were going to be changed, that he had to change the curriculum, and the tools used to reach the student body, from the ground up.
Soon after he arrived at Kayas, Trumpour and his staff began using Microsoft products starting with Surface devices and later incorporating Office 365 into their teaching, which radically changed their educational experience. Removing communication and technological barriers has led to increased student engagement, success and boosted enrollment. In this Winter semester, there were over 50 students enrolled at Kayas.
We sat down with Kyle to ask five questions about the drastic changes that have taken place at Kayas and how Microsoft’s products helped play an important role in the school’s transformation:
How long has Kayas been using Microsoft Surface and Office 365?
We have been on the Surface Pro bandwagon since the day one. We bought one Surface Pro 1 and one Surface Pro 2. At the time, we were beginning to roll out Office 365 and Skype for Business and we purchased units as a pilot project to determine how well they would work for marking student work electronically. Since then we have upgraded all our instructors and management staff to Surface Pro 4s.
What does Surface do for your staff that other devices can’t do?
What drew me to the initial Surface devices was that they could still serve a function similar to tablets, while running full 64-bit operating system. I hated the fact that I was limited with what software I had access to on an iPad or other basic tablets.
I wanted to move the school away from paper, faxing, and printing. At the time, the Surface devices carved out a unique competitive advantage over other devices, in that they came with a pen. At the time, we moved students from scanning to emailing all of their work, but we still needed to print the work off for marking. With the Surface, we envisioned never having to do that again.
Obviously, competitors for the Surface Pro devices have come out; however, nothing matches them entirely. Our Surface devices are versatile, functional, pack a punch and are extremely portable. They also work perfectly with Surface Hub.
We noticed how Surface devices are not only great tools but an amazing perk for our staff. When you think about how remote we are and the types of technologies our staff are being exposed to and getting to play with and use in very customized ways – it’s a great staff retention mechanism.
What benefits have you seen from Office 365?
The most significant is the ability to deploy all of this through a revamped and truly amazing Office 365 environment.
Office 365 has dramatically evolved in the 3-4 years since we initially adopted it, and it is now a complete solution for an education institution. SharePoint Online has evolved as well, with more of a focus on the online offering as opposed to the on premise deployment. We are moving towards a blended integration of a student intranet using SharePoint Online and Office 365.
Have I mentioned a complete lack of needing a full-time IT department to manage all of this for us? My goodness, that’s huge. My background is Biochem and business…I basically set up and administer Office 365. I did all the PowerShell scripting for the Surface Hubs. No on premise servers required. We plan to fully integrate our new laptop carts with Intune and Azure HD, to cloud-manage our domain devices. We have single sign-on for O365 accounts; no more personal Microsoft accounts.
What has your experience teaching with Surface Hub been like?
We had been using a SMART-brand smartboard connected to a Surface Pro and it served its purpose. However, we saw what the Surface Hub could do and we recognized how well they would integrate into our Office 365 environment. The key was their camera system. Being able to stand basically 180 degrees from the screen and still have the cameras pick you up was an obvious advantage to the Surface Hub that had dramatic distance learning classroom applications.
Because of our unique distance-learning situation – I need to teach students physically in front of me while two other (remote campus) locations are seeing me on a screen. When the cameras can continue to track the instructor perfectly as they write on the board, the students learning remotely really do feel like they are in the same room with the instructor. It is what allows the Surface Hub to create what I describe as “a seamless virtual classroom,” as opposed to basic distance learning where an instructor sits in front of a laptop.
You get the feel of the classroom, as the instructor moves around, goes back to the “board” and interacts with students both physically there and virtually there.
We love being able to “book” the Surface Hub or invite them to meetings using Office 365 and Skype for Business. We often have internet issues, which, in the past, required someone to re-invite one or all call participants. You can imagine how that affects our classroom setting. Now, if a call drops, a student can just walk up to the Hub and easily rejoin the call by pressing the big, obvious button on the screen. It was much more difficult before with our projector and laptop/Surface Pro set up. It is all a complete and holistic solution that has transformed Kayas and the experience of our students and teachers.
Is there a plan to share your success with other First Nation (FN) schools and communities?
I truly believe that our method is the model for adult continuing education in remote and First Nation communities, and I have the numbers to back that up.
The dropout rate over the past 30 years for FN K-12 students is staggering. Everyone loves to focus on improving K-12 funding and systems, and that’s great, but what about the former students that are now adults? They’ve been forgotten and have literally no effective ways of improving their situation. If you were to look at many of the teaching assistants at the K-12 schools, the payroll staff, or admin staff at LRRCN, the majority of them are former Kayas students.
I need to get the provincial government to see and recognize what we are doing, as well and the federal government, so that we can export our model to other communities. I would love to, one day, to be a part of something that takes this model and help to set it up in FN communities across northern Canada, and get industry and all levels of government on board.
A recent IDC study shows student’s science scores were 25 to 36 percent higher when using pen and digital inking to draw out diagrams before solving a problem. In the same study, two-thirds of teachers said digital inking with Surface saves them time when preparing materials and grading homework.
With the Windows 10 Creators Update, we’re introducing a new feature called Game Mode. Game Mode provides a better and more consistent gaming experience on Windows 10, by dedicating more system resources to your game. Game Mode’s performance gain is found in providing, on average, more sustainable framerates for gamers, particularly when your hardware is experiencing resource contention.
Game Mode can be activated from the Game bar. To use Game Mode, make sure it’s turned on for each game you play.
To turn on Game Mode:
Press Windows + G to pull up the Game bar
The new Game Mode option will appear, to enable the feature on a per-title basis
Check the box to enable Game Mode for the specific title; once checked, Windows 10 will save this enablement setting for future use. Important note: if at any time you wish to disable Game Mode, you will need to reverse this step (un-check the per-title enablement within the Game bar) in order to deactivate it.
Some games may have Game Mode turned on automatically. If the game is already running Game Mode, the check box will already be selected.
With the Creators Update, Game Mode is enabled system-wide by default. To view or change this setting at any time:
Go to Start, and click on “Settings”
Select “Gaming” from the settings menu (the Xbox logo)
These events allow to you to share time with other replica watches sale watch lovers as well as learn about what the brands are up to. In the process, you'll get treated to rolex replica sale fabulous dinners, meet celebrities, receive gifts, and feel like a valued customer who the brands really want to rolex replica sale have a relationship with. Depending on where you live and the brands you like to purchase from, these events can be quite frequent, and also really fun. Their value should not be underestimated, and again, if you don't purchase rolex replica sale watches in an "official manner" you'll never be included. Personally, I have to say that while I don't like spending more money than I need to, the value of these above unexpected benefits, in many instances, can make up for the discounts replica watches available at gray market retailers when you want to buy a new watch. In a sense, each time you rolex replica sale purchase a high-end timepiece, you are designating yourself as part of a elite group of replica watches sale people who have the appreciation and resources for luxury items.