56 WINTER 2019 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
John Rizzo, executive director of Technology and Media Services for Shaker Schools,
says that the District’s Technology Plan takes the long view and is both multi-faceted
and flexible. “In this case, there’s no terminal event that we’re shooting for. Technology
is always changing and evolving,” Rizzo says. “And there’s a cost to it, so we evaluated
early on whether we would treat technology as a cost or an investment.”
The most significant investment made by the District came in 2015 with its
purchase of Google Apps for Education (now known as the G Suite for Education),
a suite of Cloud-based productivity tools which enable students and teachers to
collaborate and interact seamlessly and securely across devices.
In collaboration with Director of Professional Learning Erin Herbruck, the
teachers created training options with ongoing support. “Teacher learning on the G
Suite is ongoing, sustained, job-embedded, classroom-focused, and intensive – the
criteria for high quality professional learning,” says Herbruck. Today, more than 70
percent of the District’s eligible teachers have participated in Google Training.
As an International Baccalaureate PreK-12 Continuum District, collaboration
between students and faculty, and among all staff, is key. Rizzo says the G Suite
for Education supports collaboration among these groups every day. Teachers
assign work to students through Google Classroom, provide feedback on writing
assignments through Google Docs, or perform group data analysis in class using
a key role in
21st century learning at
Shaker Heights Schools.
Photo by Angelo Merendino