In 2016 Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) was at a technological crossroad. Finding educational tools that helped our students connect to current valid resources that were financially sound was our target. At this time FALA was hosted by an email server that was costly and could only be used by FALA Staff.
The research into better email communication through Gmail led FALA to the possibility of becoming a Google School. There were teachers at FALA who were already using Google docs and Google Classroom who shared the positive impact this learning environment had in their classrooms. Additionally it streamlined their teaching delivery, freeing time for more impactful interactions with students.
After a detailed and lengthy process FALA became a Google school.
Now, FALA students have real time access to teacher input and collaboration. Student to student collaboration is
encouraged and supported by the students and teachers. Teacher to teacher collaboration is readily available.
All this connectivity is at little to no cost to FALA.
Being a GOOGLE School has moved FALA into an educational environment that prepares our students for the world they already experience.
Last year, FALA began the process of moving our students from paper portfolios to electronic portfolios (e-portfolio) to
track their growth. Students are interacting with their portfolios on a regular basis. They can see and share their growth as a student. The e-portfolio is a medium most higher educational institutions are already using in classrooms. FALA students are ahead of the curve.
There are drawbacks to every choice made when using technology, whether it is a smart-phone or an application, but choices to take action are important in this fast paced global society. The advantages of being a Google School far outweigh concerns.
Students First is what guides where and how we make decisions at FALA. Becoming a Google School has been an excellent choice.