We’re ready when you are!

This work is a derivative of 'Hands Hand Raised Hands Raisied Hands Up Yes' by Kaz available at http://pixabay.com/en/hands-hand-raised-hands-raised-220163/ under a Creative Commons CCO Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en This work is a derivative of ‘Hands Hand Raised Hands Raisied Hands Up Yes’ by Kaz available at http://pixabay.com/en/hands-hand-raised-hands-raised-220163/ under a Creative Commons CCO Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en%5B/caption%5D



“But Mr. Grant, why do I have to use Google Drive?”

I never get tired of answering that question.

Cloud computing has made such a difference in my life that I have no problem being an ardent advocate for it.

I tell students about this time in the “old days” where I’d have to walk three kilometres in the snow to the local library to meet a partner to complete work on a project for high school.

I go on… “Nowadays, you kids don’t have to leave your house, room or school to work way more collaboratively/productively on similar tasks”.

Cloud computing has already been a game changer and I see no difference why that trend won’t continue.  In the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) suite, students have access to a plethora of tools that will cultivate skills vital for their future. Enabling students to collaboratively work on documents, spreadsheets, images, videos etc. helps shape them into active and engaged individuals capable of working in environments that remake content and facilitate them in becoming producers and creators (Diana Rhorten). These tools continue to stay current as they are constantly being updated; taking into consideration the needs of the modern world.

“Now students, take your mobiles devices out”. “Ya! Whoo Hoo”!

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How is it that just about any activity you do with mobile devices in schools these days is always well received by young people?


Maybe it has to do with the idea of ‘play’ that Douglas Thomas focuses on in his New Culture of Learning. By extension, mobile technology can be seen as a crucial instrument of play. I wonder if students realise how powerful this technology is in relation to their learning?


“Well students, I’ve got some facts that might just blow your minds”:


“So, you students are already learning with it whether you are conscious of it or not!”

Mobile learning seems to be another vehicle that will help students acquire many of the skills that will be required for their future. This technology provides them with a chip in the game of the ‘global participatory culture of learning’ (Judy O’Connell) so to speak. It enables them access to learning networks that exceed that of traditional institutions and provides them with tools to help make sense of and again, be an active participant in their learning.

That’s also where we come in as educators. Our ever changing role requires us to act as mentors; ensuring that these natural consumers of information are shown how to successfully participate and become a true digital native (Nichole Pinkard). David White and Alison Le Cornu also relate to this issue in their ‘digital visitor vs resident’ analogy. A goal, as teachers needs to be helping shift students from where they are merely consumers (visitors) to a position where they are producing and enriching their networks and communities (residents).

“Do you really think we’ll use all this tech in the future Mr. Grant?”

If it’s any indication of what we’re up against, the ‘Future Work Skills 2020’ report also acknowledges that they don’t really have any idea of the jobs that will exist in 2020; however, they do estimate that ‘virtual collaboration’ and ‘new media literacy’ are two of the ten skills that will be important and part of the way we can focus on them is by using cloud computing and mobile technology.

“So, let’s get back to work!”

“We’re ready when you are.”





Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis. M. (2011). Future work skills 2020. Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute: California

A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas at TEDxUFM. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM80GXlyX0U

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAv6uqrE_9E

Kuehn, L. (2012). No more “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants.” Our Schools / Our Selves, 21(2), 129–132.

Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner | MacArthur Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw



5 Comments on We’re ready when you are!

  1. Judy O'Connell
    April 1, 2015 at 11:49 am (6 years ago)

    How good is it that you can work with Google Drive and all that ‘tasty’ tech things that can make teaching so much fun with the kids. What I like about this post is that you show a strong connection with the students and their use of digital environments, and are now adding depth to your own knowledge to be a better couch. You will help the students become genuine digital natives 🙂 Thanks for the post and the integration of the resources/references.

  2. Kath
    April 5, 2015 at 10:38 am (6 years ago)

    Great post! Lots of insights and truths about the classroom.

  3. Glenda
    April 23, 2015 at 10:14 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Jordan, a fellow GCT,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the wonders of cloud computing that encourages students (and teachers) to be creators and collaborators of information and not merely consumers of it. As a GCT I love the power that the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) suite brings. Oh how I’ve missed having GAFE at my current school – my previous one had been one of the first in Victoria to implement GAFE to students and staff. I am so pleased that GAFE will be rolled out next term at my P-12 independent school – a huge project that I’m leading at the College. Over the past almost three years there’s been a lot of advocating and presenting to College administration about the what, how, why … of going GAFE.
    My school also implemented Microsoft Office 365 early this year – so my school is all of a sudden very much cloud centric – which is in stark contrast to having no web technologies permitted only a couple of short years ago.
    But I suppose the challenge of implementing cloud technologies has challenged many schools and educators over the past 4 years or so. Schools, including my own, have been so unsure or have concerns about cloud computing and/or cloud services security and privacy of student and staff data and reliability just to name a few.
    But on the flip side, using digital or cloud technology tools and services is a great way to teach students good digital citizenship practices. What I love is that GAFE, and/or Office 365 provides opportunities to open up the world to global collaboration on student projects. Students and staff can access their work via these services with just an Internet connection, or have reliable storage and backup.
    I loved reading your post, so much of it resonated with me.

    • jordantgrant@gmail.com
      April 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Glenda! It sounds like your school has undergone some serious change recently. How have staff been handling this shift to the cloud?

  4. jdtriver@gmail.com
    April 24, 2015 at 2:21 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Jordan

    Great post on mobile technology and cloud. I also agree wholeheartedly with you and what Glenda mentioned. These tools allow for much greater collaboration between individuals. It really is so crucial that we are teaching students how to use tech tools for production, and not just consumption. As teachers, we have the responsibility to not only teach, but model digital citizenship for our students. Kids love learning with mobile devices, and when there is a blanket ban on them it does not reflect real life. I did a social media and device survey with my seniors, and 96% access social media daily on mobile devices! We need to engage them in this platform. New Media literacies and virtual collaboration will definitely be part of future work skills.


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