Working with EdintheClouds

We are constantly looking for projects where we can go beyond simple Google Apps training and become trusted advisers and virtual members of a team.  We’d really like to work with your school or organization, so have a look at the following points and let’s see if it’s a good fit.



Why is working with EdintheClouds different?

You can find Google Apps trainers everywhere these days, so even though we’ve been doing it for very nearly ten years and have helped hundreds of schools make the journey, you may not see why you should work with us rather than somebody who is just around the corner or seems cheaper.  Here are a few pointers to help you see why we’re different:


  • We have a coherent strategic vision of how working in the cloud can help your organization achieve its long-term objectives and give a common direction to the various strands and stakeholder groups found in any organization.

  • We spend time understanding your vision for your school before we work with you.  Although working with so many schools and other organizations has taught us how best to implement Google Apps, there isn’t a single approach that is good for all schools, and we work with you to ensure that your Google platform supports your strategic vision for the school.

  • It’s all about learning, not technology.  New technology on top of old teaching is a waste of everyone’s time and money, so it’s about leveraging tech to help redefine the relationship between the learner and the institution.

  • This is more than just training on the tools - it’s seeing how to embed new thinking and new practice in your organization so that you can create an enhanced culture of learning.

  • We can help you build an anytime, anywhere learning environment which addresses the needs of different stakeholder groups and can help you redefine the nature of learning - for both students and adults - in your organization.

Specifically, what might that look like?

Here are some of the main themes we work on and examples of what that might look for you.  These are only examples: your implementation might look entirely different because the Google Apps ecosystem provides a set of building blocks which can be used in infinitely-varied ways.  Once you have Google Apps, all of these solutions and many more ideas are possible: you already have the building blocks in place and it’s merely a question of assembling them in the right order.


We’ve grouped some specific examples of ways we work with schools under a small number of headings.  Remember, these are just examples and what we’re looking for is the kind of partnership where we might invent new and wonderful new ways of solving the problems you face.


BUILD TEAM AND COMMUNITY
IMPROVE COLLABORATION
ORGANISE YOUR DATA AND RESOURCES
DEVELOP A CULTURE OF LEARNING
IMPROVE 21st-CENTURY SKILLS
IMPROVE CLASSROOM USE OF TECH
SPEND MONEY WISELY


BUILD TEAM AND COMMUNITY

ONLINE STAFFROOM

The Online Staffroom is a ‘start-your-day-here’ resource which becomes a natural daily destination for all your staff. It’s made up of three main elements: staff, school and general education news; the tools and services you want to encourage them to use; and shared resources - forms, plans, policies and other stored resources.


When your people know that they need to access the Staffroom to fully participate in your team, it becomes the natural place for them to go to find things and means that everybody is up-to-speed and on the same page.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


GOVERNOR PORTAL

The Governor Portal is an ‘everything-in-one-place’ resource which becomes a natural focus for all your governors. It’s made up of three main elements: GB, school and general governor news; the tools and services you want to encourage them to use; and shared resources - forms, plans, policies and other stored resources.


When your governors know that they need to access the Portal to fully participate in the GB, it becomes the natural place for them to go to find things and means that everybody is up-to-speed and on the same page - ahead of the meetings.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


SHARING COMMUNITIES

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Credibility in the online world is driven by people’s willingness to share, and yet this isn’t something that comes naturally for many.  By building online communities - internal and private if appropriate - your people can develop the sharing reflex which is an essential part of modern digital literacy.


This can start out as a ‘found on the web’ pinboard before moving to a ‘look what we did’, ‘here’s how you do it’ or  ‘help wanted’ noticeboard which encourages your people to feel that they are part of something bigger.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


LEARNER HUBS

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Your learners need and deserve a way of accessing information which engages them and bring everything together in one simple and attractive interface.


The good news is that the Google Apps ecosystem can easily generate as many ‘front ends’ as you need for your different stakeholder communities, giving them easy access to the tools and services they need, and reduce the need for them to learn multiple new ways of working.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENT: 2-3 DAYS


IMPROVE COLLABORATION

IMPROVING CONSISTENCY OF MESSAGE AND IDENTITY

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The establishment of a consistent visual identity may seem more the province of the corporate world, but it is equally valid for the contemporary educational establishment.  Your brand communicates a message, and that should be consistent,  coherent, and connected to your vision and ethos.  Once you have it, it should be used everywhere: websites, newsletters, letters home and more need to reinforce your message.


This is even more important because children coming into school today have been bombarded with visual messages since they were born, and have a sophisticated level of visual literacy.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENT: 3 - 4 DAYS


DEVELOPING AND DEPLOYING DOCUMENT TEMPLATES

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Templates can save you and your teams a mountain of time and effort.  Use the ever-increasing library of pre-designed templates or construct your own and store them in your organization’s private Template Gallery.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT AND TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


USING FORMS TO IMPROVE COMMON WORKFLOWS

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The world runs on forms: whether you are booking a train ticket or ordering the week’s groceries, you are submitting data via forms.  All human organisations, including schools, are full of processes and workflows where somebody is trying to gather feedback and information.


Risk assessment, incident records, lunch menu choices and many, many other school process can be simplified once you know how quick and easy it is to build and deploy Google Forms.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


USING ADD-ONS AND APPS SCRIPT TO GLUE PROCESSES TOGETHER

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If you can’t find an answer from the pre-designed tools and templates which Google provides, then there’s an excellent chance that somebody else has already thought of one or that you can build your own.


Add-ons and extensions can provide solutions for many common issues, and Apps Script provides a limitless way to construct bespoke solutions where Google does the heavy lifting and your script gives you the precise functionality you need, and we can help you build those if you don’t have the expertise in-house.

TIME TO TRAIN: 3 - 4 DAYS


ORGANISE YOUR DATA AND RESOURCES

DOCUMENT STORE

The Document Store gives you and your team an easy and attractive way to access all the important documents they need.


Documents are stored in Google Drive as normal, but this approach allows users to find the precise document or documents they are looking for by searching specifically within your archive and by any fields you consider important. Allow your users to search by date or type or owner - or any other field you consider important.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


RESOURCE LIBRARY

The Resource Library gives you and your team an easy way to contribute resources that they have generated or that they have found on the web or elsewhere.


Use a simple form to contribute a new resource and add useful information about it - information which will help you categorise and search for it in the future.


Once resources have been added, they can be searched and filtered by date, person, source, topic or any other field you think would be useful.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


NEWS ARCHIVE

The News Archive gives you an easy way of creating a searchable news database and an easy and attractive way for you and your team to retrieve news items.


News items are contributed by whoever you choose to authorise, but this approach allows your users to find the precise school news item or items they are looking for by searching specifically within your archive and by any fields you consider important.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT: 1 - 2 DAYS


DEVELOP A CULTURE OF LEARNING

123GO! - THE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, BITE-SIZED CPD PLATFORM

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Traditional CPD is a very imprecise tool: it’s not always the best timing for those attending, and then it’s not easy to convert the content of courses into sustained changes in working practice.  More than that, the sit-and-get form of traditional learning feels increasingly out-of-step with the modern world of mobile phones and tablets.


123GO! Is an online platform which breaks learning down into bite-sized chunks, each with a checklist and a challenge, and then allows learners to demonstrate their mastery by earning badges.

POA


BUILD YOUR OWN TRAINING LIBRARY

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123GO! Is not just a platform for existing training material, but can also be used by organisations that want to build or curate their own learning materials for use with staff or students.


Upload some learning material, a checklist and a challenge, and any found or original content can become part of a mobile and responsive system which rewards learning.  All learning activity can be tracked so that you can monitor the progress your learners are making.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


BUILD SPECIFIC IN-HOUSE RESOURCES

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All organisations have in-house material which their people need to be able to access.  The Staff Handbook, or a new-employee Induction Pack are just two examples of this.


Using 123GO!, any collection of material can be made available for consumption by a designated list of personnel, and remain entirely private to that group of people or to any target audience.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


IMPROVE 21st-CENTURY SKILLS

MASTERING THE SYNCHRONISED WORLD

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The use of technology in education is no longer optional.  We all need to be as fluent as possible in the use of technology, but the fact is that the pace of change in this sector is bewildering for many people.


We can help your people become comfortable so that whatever combination of computers, tablets, phones, wearable tech and peripherals they use, they can be productive and have access to the tools, services and resources they need.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


WEB AUTOMATION - PRODUCTIVITY MAGIC

Some people just appear to be super-efficient and achieving things with ease, and this is because they’ve mastered the shortcuts and workflow efficiencies that are possible in any process.


The web is no different, and there are tricks and tips that anybody can learn and that we can help you with to become a ninja of the joined-up internet.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


IMPROVE CLASSROOM USE OF TECH

MANAGE THE FLOW OF WORK

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Google Classroom is a simple yet amazing tool which can help you improve your classroom practice and yet expend less effort.  If it seems like this is to good to be true, then we can show you how Classroom - and the other web tools which work so well with it, can help you improve feedback while shortening the feedback cycle so that it occurs in real-time, while also reducing the burden of marking and managing the enormous workload that most teachers face.

TIME TO TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


GOOGLE APPS TO SUPPORT PARTICULAR PEDAGOGY

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There’s no right or wrong way to use each of the individual tools which make up Google Apps for Education, and there’s no right way to combine them, either.  The art comes from combining them judiciously, whatever the pedagogical approach that a teacher or a school might adopt. We can help you find just the right combination of services to allow the magic to happen.

TIME TO EXPLORE, IMPLEMENT AND TRAIN: VARIABLE


BLOGGING FOR LEARNING

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Blogging has been shown time and again to help make writing - and indeed learning in general - more engaging, and the Google Apps platform and other tools provide a range of possibilities to help you introduce it successfully in your school.  We can show you how.


It’s not just for students, either: getting your teachers and others to blog is a great way to encourage to participate in the sharing culture that distinguishes the successful organisations of the internet era.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT AND TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


E-PORTFOLIOS, DRAFTING AND SHOWCASING LEARNERS’ BEST WORK

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The process of drafting, reviewing, revising and publishing student work or adult work to either a private or public audience can be time-consuming and often falls to those who are already time-poor, but we can show you how a combination of contemporary authoring, reviewing and publishing tools can help streamline the workflow and make it comparatively simple to get the right work to the right readership.  Let us help give your content creators the tools they need to get their work in front of one person, a select few, a large group, or the world.

TIME TO IMPLEMENT AND TRAIN: 1 - 2 DAYS


USING TECHNOLOGY TO REDEFINE THE PROCESS

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It is not enough simply to introduce technology into a learning environment without having a clear strategy for how it is going to be leveraged.  It needs to do more than simply be a new tool for delivering old learning.  The world is full of examples of schools which have rushed to buy new technology without having a clear idea why.


We can show you how to leverage the technology you’ve got or will have in order to Substitute, Augment, Modify and Redefine your processes and improve learning into the bargain.

TIME TO EXPLORE, IMPLEMENT AND TRAIN: VARIABLE


SPEND MONEY WISELY

CHOOSE CHROMEBOOKS

Chromebooks are not like other hardware choices. Rather, they are part of a coherent, joined-up strategy for learning. That's because Chromebooks are anonymous devices which can be managed in the cloud - Hardware As A Service. Whether a Year 4 student or a teacher picks it up, any Chromebook becomes the device that person needs, and nothing is left behind afterwards, so you can relax about which devices people are using and what they're able to access.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND PREPARE REPORT: 1 - 2 DAYS


EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR EXISTING DEVICES

A move to the Cloud does not mean you have to spend a fortune on new kit. In fact, there's a strong argument that it will allow you to extend the life of your existing equipment: if all a device needs to do is connect the user to her work on the internet, you can jettison all the expensive features you no longer need to maintain and simplify your life.

TIME TO EXPLORE AND PREPARE REPORT: 1-2 DAYS


GET MORE OUT OF YOUR IPADS AND TABLETS

Lots of schools buy tablets - iPads, LearnPads or Android tablets - and don't really know why. They haven't fully thought through how those devices are going to fit in with the strategy for learning which should be at the heart of everything the school does. The good news is that Google Apps can come to the rescue and provide the 'glue' that binds all your thinking together. Let us help you make sense of all the hardware you've bought so you get better value from it.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND PREPARE REPORT: 1 - 2 DAYS


KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH WHAT'S POSSIBLE TODAY

Technology is changing at an ever-increasing rate and yet ironically we are moving into a post-device world. The skills you've built over decades in traditional tools may become obsolete almost overnight. How can you stay aware of the possibilities of new technology while staying firmly focused on the strategy for learning in your organization?


Let us help. We spend our lives plugged into the latest tools and technologies so you don't have to. Include us in your team as a trusted adviser and we can take the hassle out of technology for you.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND ADVISE: ONGOING


MOVE TO A SERVER-FREE ORGANIZATION

In the not-too distant future, it will seem bizarre that schools and other organizations ever thought it wise to run their own data and networking infrastructure. Just as has happened with electricity and other utilities, we will see large specialist companies shoulder that burden.


Why would you want to take responsibility for things that are difficult to understand and expensive to maintain if you didn't have to? So let us help you make a start - let's get rid of those servers, whiteboards, computer rooms and all the other paraphernalia of the past and help you become a connected and collaborative organization.

TIME TO RESEARCH AND PREPARE REPORT: 1 - 2 DAYS


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