AppsEvents Featured School : Taylor's International School Kuala Lumpur

As promised on our February newsletter, here’s the first for our new monthly series where we highlight GAFE enabled schools or districts. In this feature article, we learn about the challenges, best practices, and other cool things the Taylor's International School Kuala Lumpur have implemented which is also our host of the upcoming Malaysia Summit on May 14 and 15, 2016!


School Name: Taylor’s International School, KL
School Address: Jalan Pria, Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, 55100
Website: www.kl.tis.edu.my
Principal Name: Mr Peter Wells
Other Leader/Contact Name: Adrianna Astle, IT Integrator
Twitter: @adriannaastle

About the School Community

The School first started in 1991 in association with the Badminton Association of Malaysia as a centre of excellence for national players, as well as being a private Malaysian curriculum school. It evolved into an outstanding institution that delivered superb examination results, as well as a holistic and balanced educational experience. The national curriculum of England was introduced in 2011 as the school started transforming into Sri Garden International.

With the aim to become a fully international school with exceptional learning facilities, the School was continuously renovated. In 2014, Sri Garden International was rebranded as Taylor’s International School, Kuala Lumpur.

The school has students from Reception through to Year 11 (IGCSE), with plans to expand by introducing Sixth Form in 2017, where students will study for A levels.

Tell us about your students who are they?

We have approximately 1700 students on one campus. We have a wonderful mix of cultures and nationalities, but mainly cater for a Malaysian market.

Our school follows ‘RECIPE’ a set of core values that we aspire to - Respect, Excellence, Communication, Integrity, Passion and an Enjoyable Environment.

I love walking through the corridors in our school and hearing the students greet each other and adults as we wander through. Our students are naturally inquisitive and friendly, so the odd ‘What are you doing in school today?’ asked of a stranger in school is not uncommon. Their willingness to engage with others is one of the endearing features of our students.

In Malaysia, we are lucky to experience a variety of cultural identities, and this is reflected in our school environment. Whether it is Hari Raya, Chinese New Year or Deepavali, all cultures are represented and celebrated.

The schools' Robotics Club recently joined a tournament and won as a runner up.

The School


The school opened in 1991, and is fully licensed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education. From its days as a Malaysian Curriculum school it was registered with MQA to sit Malaysian school examinations. In 2011, the school was accredited by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) to host IGCSE and A level examinations.

The school is a full member of AIMS, the Association of International Malaysian schools.

The Curriculum


The school now follows the national curriculum for England, with public examinations at IGCSE at Year 11 , and soon A levels at the end of Year 13.

Teaching faculty

We take great pride in the fact that a lot of our staff have been here a number of years. They have seen Sri Garden move from a national to an International School that is now Taylor’s International School. They have seen many curriculum changes, and teaching pedagogy come in and out of fashion. And they have endured and risen to the challenge.

We are an ‘International Curriculum’ school which offers the best of both worlds. We offer a British International curriculum which is taught by locally-trained staff. A world-class education that considers the cultural aspects of the country we are teaching in.

We also have a strong link to Taylor’s University, part of the Education family, and provide mentor opportunities for B.Ed students. We look forward to welcoming them into our school as graduate teachers in the next few years.

Google Apps Implementation

About 2 years ago, the school issued laptops to all the teachers with the remit ‘go have a play’. This encouraged our staff to try something new without feeling pressured. In the last year, momentum has really taken off. As we have seen confidence in the staff grow, so has the increased use of technology in the classroom. Teachers have embraced Google Apps, and you see evidence in this by their use in planning, meeting minutes, and collaborative discussions about teaching and learning.

This year our ICT focus is ‘Moving forward together’ as we look to harness our teachers’ increased confidence in Google products and embrace its effectiveness in the classroom. In reality, our teachers have been doing this, but perhaps quietly - ‘just getting on with it’. We want this year to be a year where we celebrate and collaborate together.

This time last year, I asked if anyone was interested in pursuing a Google Educator qualification - I had two responses. This week, I have 13 looking to qualify. I’m very proud of how far my colleagues have travelled in a short space of time.

We have access to macbooks, iPads and Dell laptops for use in our classes. I am getting a lot of requests from teachers to trial other devices such as Chromebooks, Samsung tablets, even iPod touch! Such is the increasing confidence, staff are looking for the best devices to suit their teaching and the students’ learning experiences.

How has your school adopted Google Classroom?


Our Secondary school has adopted Classroom as a valuable tool. For our staff, anything that is implemented has to have purpose and add meaning. Classroom has shown its value to colleagues, and staff and students alike have used it in class to push relevant content, to start up learning conversations and to give constructive feedback to online endeavours.

The students have found it extremely handy. They are now able to access school material outside of school hours, and work collaboratively with their peers. It has given them more responsibility to manage their time effectively, and choose when to access the material.

What has been the greatest impact or change as a result of ‘going Google?’

The key word is collaboration. A teacher’s life is a busy one, and there are not enough hours in the day for those conversations that you need to have, or that meeting you should attend to gain key information. ‘Going Google’ has allowed us to use our ‘non-contact time’ (because there is no ‘free time’) more effectively.

Our meeting minutes are in Google Docs, so that management and interested parties are aware of what is happening across school departments and year groups. Planning, Weekly summaries, lesson plans and resources are in folders in our Google Drive, so that access is available to all for viewing or editing purposes. Google Classroom allows us to share content with students, engage in online discussions and encourage students to share relevant content with their peers. It also provides a way to issue and receive online assignments, as well as giving ongoing and final feedback.

We are looking ahead at Google Sites as a way to manage all this information, and make it more efficient in terms of storage and retrievability. Google+ is also been considering as a way of setting up online communities to share and debate ideas with people beyond our school walls.

Chromebook & Device Status


We are not a 1:1 school. The debate is happening now about how we move forward from having access to technology in a structured way (booking systems, availability, planning ahead for the need), and moving to having it available as and when it is needed.

We have currently been trialling the use of Chromebooks in schools, and it has proved very successful. Do we head that way? It is great value for money, it accesses all the GAFE products we are promoting as learning tools in the classroom.

Do we stick with the model of Macbooks and iPads as we have currently?

These are exciting times for our school. The next step for us is to have this debate with the wider school community - our parents and our students must have a voice in this as well. Watch this space for 2017.

Each teacher is issued with a Macbook Pro or Macbook Air when they join. We offer induction sessions for those who need it, as well as ongoing support throughout the year.

Our teachers have responded positively to embracing this technology, although initially they were concerned about such expensive kit being placed in their possession.

Innovations

Innovations are up and coming. Coding is on the way in response to KS4 students wishlist that they compiled for the new IT Integrator. It’s new ground that we’re breaking, so the world is our oyster. As the first IT Integrator for Taylor’s International School, KL my focus has been to listen to the students and see what they are asking about, and what is exciting them. Then I work from there.

It does mean I’ve had to purchase a book to read this term break - ‘Minecraft for Dummies’. It’s a learning curve for teachers as well!

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Google Launches Chrome Music Lab, New Google Docs Templates, and More Updates!


Learn Music the Google-way with Chrome Music Lab

In time for this year’s Music in Our Schools Month, the Google for Education team built a set of experiments for everyone to explore on how music works. They call it the “Chrome Music Lab”.


Built for the web and freely accessible by anyone, the Chrome Music Lab lets you fiddle around with several elements used in Music such as rhythms and melodies.The Education team will also be providing open-source code so that people can build their own experiments based on what they have started.

The goal is to inspire people, make music seen in a different perspective, or even encourage new ways to teach. Go ahead and try the Chrome Music Lab now by visiting http://g.co/musiclab.

[Source]

New Google Docs Templates: Designed by Experts, Made for Everyone


Preparing a lesson plan from scratch is never an easy task. Most of the time, we don’t know how to begin writing one. This is why Google introduces new templates for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, designed by experts like Reading Rainbow and Google Science Fair to make schoolwork easier and better.


Reading Rainbow, an award-winning digital service and the third longest-running children’s television show in the US, created templates in Docs to help students and teachers with their schoolwork.


The Google Science Fair is an annual online science and engineering competition open to teenagers around the globe. They’ve also made a Slides template as a means for students to head start their presentations.

Whether you’re in a middle of planning or actually working on your next project, you can make use of these new templates - all available on the Web, Android, and iOS.

[Source]

Google Sheets and Slides for iOS: Change Filters, Themes, and Layouts

Newer versions of the Google Sheets and Slides apps for iOS are now available to download in the App Store. The updated version now lets you do the following:

View and modify existing filters in the Google Sheets iOS app.


Change the theme or layout of a presentation in the Google Slides iOS app.


[Source]

Google Hangouts: Connect with More People


Video calls on Hangouts makes it simple to connect with people all over the world. In an update on the 16th of March, Google increased the the participant limit from 15 to 25 people using Google Apps.

Out of these 25 people, only 10 most active video call participants will have visible video feeds at the bottom of the screen to ensure a high quality experience. No specific actions are required to avail of this update.

[Source]

Assign Expiration Dates for Google Drive Files

For schools that have started to integrate their classes using Google, file handling and protecting confidential information are some of the top priorities that should be taken care of. While this is true, there will always be instances where these files need to be accessed by some people for a certain period of time.

To ensure the safety and integrity of these files, Google introduces the ability to assign expiration dates for files in Google Drive to specific people, whether they belong to the school organization or not.


Learn more about this new feature and its inclusions on this post.

[Source]

Google Docs and Slides for Android: Create and Collaborate Better

Latest versions of the Google Docs and Slides apps for Android are now available to download on Google Play. The updated version now lets you do the following:

You can now “Select”, “Copy”, and “Comment” on content in the Print Layout view in Docs.


You can now create and edit presentations that read from right to left, a necessity when presenting in languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.
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Admin Corner: Gmail - Objectionable Content. Email Filtering, Quarantining and Blocking


This post is the first in a new series of how-tos on the Google Admin Console. Aimed at Google Apps administrators one setting will be highlighted and we will walk through the various settings. This month….Gmail and objectionable content.

Whilst not every school will need to use filtering tools in email, some schools will find the Objectionable Content tools invaluable for preventing certain behavior before it happens. Every school approaches objectionable content (bad language, bullying, inappropriate links etc) in different ways. Some schools rely upon responsible use education (Digital Citizenship) to educate users on what is safe and appropriate, whereas there may be instances where administrators want to put in place filters that prevent messages from being sent.

The Objectionable Content Settings are contained within the Gmail app on the Admin Console. From the Google Admin Console head to Apps, Gmail and then scroll down to Advanced Settings and choose the Organizational Unit you will be working on. Scroll down again to see the Objectionable Content Settings:


Admins can manage objectionable content by creating different settings, each setting represents a different rule. So for example, perhaps we want to restrict all outbound mail from sending a specific set of offensive words, whilst we also want to restrict sending and receiving of a second set of even more offensive words. These would be handled by creating two separate settings.

To create a setting, we click on Configure. From the configuration screen we can elect to apply this setting to Inbound/Outbound and Internal sending/receiving - therefore we can control what is sent and received.


The next option is enter the custom list of words that will trigger this filter, you can either find a publicly shared list of offensive words or create your own custom list to use here (capitalization is ignored).


When the filter is triggered, we have the option to either modify, reject or quarantine the message. Once an email is quarantined, the admin has the facility to allow or deny delivery of the message. If no action is taken the message is automatically deleted after 30 days. An outbound message that is quarantined will stay in the sender’s sent folder until action is taken by the admin even if it is deleted by the sender (until the 30 day limit).


This allows administrators to have granular controls on what to do with inappropriate use of school network. Some scenarios are represented below:
  • Offensive content can be blocked at sender
  • Potentially illegal behavior can be flagged
  • Inappropriate attachments can be re-routed or quarantined
  • Potential bullying can be forwarded to school counsellor
The short video below summarizes the options:


For further information please see the Google Help article Objectionable content setting.

A note on privacy: The filters combined with quarantine give admins the ability to view emails in their entirety - the administration team and managers should be aware of this feature.


About the Contributor

James Sayer

James is the Head of Mathematics and IT Coordinator for Patumwan Demonstration School's international program in Bangkok.

As Google Apps and Moodle LMS administrator James has conducted a variety of training sessions for different schools and supported teachers through best use of educational technology.

He is particularly interested in the use of technology to improve a learner's math ability across a variety of devices and platforms. James is a Google Education Trainers, Google Apps Certified Administrators and Moodle qualified.
Connect with James: https://plus.google.com/+JamesSayer/posts
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Demo Slam: Control Your Desktop Remotely with this Fantastic Chrome Extension

by +Andrew McDonald

I just came back from an awesome apps event in Qatar. So many great new things to do in the classroom and talk to administration about for our school. I also met so many new friends and reconnected with old friends. I gave a talk on using Google Cardboard in the classroom and also gave a demo slam about Chrome Remote Desktop. The demo slam was a great success and I wanted to talk about it here today. This application is available in Chrome Web Store and on the Google Play Store as well as on the iOS App Store.

Here how is works. You install the application on the devices that you want to use as hosts and clients. You can launch the application on the client device and then login to the other devices using your pre-assigned pin, or it can be automatic if you have disabled the need for a pin. Because it is linked to your Google account, there is no need to create another username or password. Yes, it’s just that simple.
You can share your computer or access a shared computer from the top profile box.  
The lower box is where your computers that you can access are located.
Once you are logged in you have full control of the host computer. A great use for this tool is to login to my computer from my phone to use it as the remote during presentations. It keeps me from being tethered to the desk when giving a presentation and using the mouse.

It’s also useful for those times that I forgot something on my work computer. I can login from my home computer or smartphone to retrieve it.

You can also use this application to take control of someone else’s computer if they give you access. In the application, simply select the remote command option and input the host gives the client the 16 digit code. You will then have control of their computer.

I have used this to login to my father's computer to help him with some computer issues which would have been very hard to fix over the phone or Skype from the Middle East to Canada.

Again this is linked to your Google account so if you have multiple Google accounts try to remember which account to you used for each device. My suggestion is you use one account for all of your devices.

If you need any help with installation please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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3 Great FREE Brainstorming & Interactive Quiz Tools

   
by +Michael Still

Brainstorming is a big part of my class. We use it all the time, especially during the writing process. Through #GIESummit’s I’ve learned a bunch of new brainstorming apps and great ways to incorporate them into the classroom. Be sure to check out PollEverywhere and Socrative when you’re done reading this post! Both of these tools are used best in conjunction with BYOD or a class set of devices but I use them all the time even if the only device is my personal Smartphone. They can also be used for quizzes but my favorite quiz app is Kahoot!

My favorite part about brainstorming apps like these are the student’s reaction to seeing their suggestions immediately populate the board. As the first few responses come in you’ll notice even your shy students will chime in. This is even more true if each kid has a device but my lowest kids get excited about sharing their ideas even when I’m inputting it on my own phone.

1. Poll Everywhere (www.polleverywhere.com) is my personal favorite brainstorming tool.


Go to the main website and create a poll, open ended, short answer or multiple choice question.
My favorite one is WORD CLOUD (fair warning that this works best with 1 word responses) but my students are a fan of anything using this website.   
 
FYI: The free version of Poll Everywhere only allows for 25 responses before locking your survey.


You can even set the choices to be images or have a brainstorm that is voted on by your audience with Q&A/Brainstorm! Once you create the poll, you’ll get a code that can be sent via SMS text messaged or the more commonly used website. It’ll look something like PollEv.com/username753. Head there on your devices and you are almost ready to roll! Don’t forget to activate your poll by clicking the button (see photo)

Poll Everywhere is great for making a quiz too but I prefer Kahoot for that. I’ll tell you about that right after Socrative ;)

2. Socrative (www.socrative.com) is my go to brainstorming tool if I need to have more than 25 responses. Once you make your login it's easy to start a poll. I use the “Quick Question” function for brainstorming and let the responses roll in. This can get cumbersome as your list populates so be sure to manage the display so that new responses are still being shown.


The other great thing about Socrative is how simple you can turn that poll into a vote! Click the button and suddenly each of those brainstorm topics are voted on all the devices so you can pick a topic for guided practice that the whole class will enjoy!


Once you setup the quiz you’ll get a special room code. The audience should go to www.Socrative.com and click “Student Login” where you can input the “room name” and anyone can join! 
 
Just like Poll Everywhere, Socrative offers quizzes too and these can be fun. You can search pre-made ones or make your own. I like Socrative’s team function (SPACE RACE) but otherwise I still prefer Kahoot for quizzes. No matter what type of poll you make in Socrative there are lots of options. You can remove inappropriate responses, keep it all anonymous or force everyone to have a name.


3. Kahoot (www.GetKahoot.com) is probably my students’ favorite thing on the whole wide internet. When I tell them there’s a Kahoot it's almost impossible to keep things orderly. It makes a great reward while also being a solid formative assessment tool! The catch with Kahoot is that each member of your audience/class will need a device. Personally I bring in 2 of my old smartphones and tell the kids to BYOD. Sure my school has tablets but they are often in need of repair and there’s only 1 set for the whole grade!

To use Kahoot in your classroom go to www.GetKahoot.com and create a login. From here you can browse a seemingly unlimited archive of quizzes made by other educators or create a new one. I usually make new ones since it's a pretty simple process. You can add a sentence, picture, video or combination and then offer 4 different multiple choices. Keep going until your quiz is finished.




When you are ready click “PLAY.” You’ll find yourself on a new screen where I highly recommend clicking “DISPLAY GAME PIN THROUGHOUT.” (This is just in case one of your little munchkins accidentally closes their app or has any other technical issues). Click “LAUNCH” and you’ll find your Game PIN.

Once you have a game PIN its time for your audience/students to go to Kahoot.it The only choice will be to input your game PIN. Then they can add a name and wait for you to start the quiz!



Customizing names is bound to lead to a teachable moment about what is “school appropriate” and possibly even about “bullying.” If you want to avoid these simply tell your students they must use their name or student number.

I hope these tools help you and your students! Be sure to follow me @LiveTravelTeach and check out www.LiveTravelTeach.com!

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3 Innovative Ways to Use Google Slides in the Classroom that is NOT Presenting

by +Wesley Przybylski

Slides can be used for much more than just presenting. Slides are just magical and with a bit of creativity and innovation there are many possibilities for slides as a learning tool. 

1. Engage students with the “Comment Only” option.


Google slides can be a place where tons of content can be placed into one location, such as, images from google and videos from youtube. We may want our kids to learn/watch these slides and interact with these slides/content at their own pace, but we need evidence that they are learning and engaged. Just set your your slides to “anyone with the link can comment” and allow students to add comments but not affect your actual slide content. You can ask questions in your slide, have students reflect, or maybe add to ideas. Students can reply to each other and not just say “great comment”, but can add feedback and extra information to keep the conversation going online. This can be returned to and discussed as a whole class. Struggling students can learn from other student’s comments as well.

2. Use the Presenter Notes for extended writing/essays/instructions.


Slides can be used as a housing ground for our students work. By using the presenter notes, you can have this space used as a writing area or for your instructions as for what they should need to do. In the above example I had the students make dream houses in geometry class. They had to find the area and perimeter of different rooms in the house. I used the presenter notes area for the students to write a reflection and tell me what the area and perimeter of each different shapes were. I also had every student submit their work on the same slide deck, that way we didn’t need to present in front of class, the students just went through all the work at their own pace, commented and gave constructive feedback. Because the students could see each other develop their house, they got ideas from each other which made each students project that much better. It also made it very easy for me to grade.

3. Learning evidence with flow-charts, pictures, and video.



After a lesson that I have taught or an experience I have provided the students I need to have some evidence that they did the notes, did problems, and overall understood. There are many ways to have them show the evidence, but what I have done is have the slides be the housing ground for all learning evidence. The students use the slide to build a flowchart of their understanding, Insert a video they posted to youtube explaining understanding, insert a quick image of their notes to prove they worked on it, and do a short reflection in the presenter notes area.

All students do this on the same slide so that they can learn from each other. They like to have fun with the backgrounds which I don’t mind as it personalized their “learning evidence space.” I can easily provide comments to each slide while students are working FOR ongoing feedback. Grading learning evidence has never been easier.

Do you use slides for other reasons other than presenting? I would love to hear about it. Comment on this blog post and share your innovative idea!

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Presenting to Taiwan School and University Leaders at the Google Office in Taipei

by +Dan Taylor

Last week I was delighted to get the opportunity to present to a group of University and School leaders together with +Suan Yeo and others at the Google office in Taipei, Taiwan.

As usual it was a packed trip....flying in from Europe and straight into our second annual Taiwan summit held with +David Freeman and +Douglas Bradburn at Morrison Academy Taichung, and featuring some amazing Asian Google experts you should check out online including +James Sayer +Lee Webster +Wesley Przybylski +Andy Wu +Michael Still, with +Robert Allen Moody / +Suzanne Becking coming all the way from Kansas to present!

Straight after the summit we were on the high speed train to Taipei where the Google office is located in the iconic Taipei 101 building, which I would recommend anyone to visit if they get a chance.

My presentation focused on an audience of School and University leaders looking to adopt Google Apps and I walked through firstly some of the challenges that leadership face in making the move and then focused in on some key factors for success.


In my opinion the biggest factor for a successful Google Apps implementation is training. When asked what are the top 3 factors of successful Google schools are I generally answer (1) Training (2) Training and (3) Training :). Training is what helps you kick-off and build a Google community in your school which then grows organically and becomes self-sustaining.

I've been involved in IT implementations for over 20 years now and the one thing I've consistently seen projects fail on is a lack of prioritisation for training. This is even more pronounced with Google Apps where from a technical point of view it's actually pretty simple nowadays to implement, migrate data and connect to other systems despite what some people may tell you.

Key training audiences to start with are 'Admins' and 'key users'.

You need skilled admins from day 1 to help with tasks such as user creation, setting up Sub-Orgs and setting default apps and permissions for your users. Get them involved in day 1 and if you are using an external partner for your implementation make sure they are integrated with the team. Don't be scarred to get admins from outside your core IT team as well, School administrative tasks can help with a lot of the user management.

Key users' are normally a self-selecting group of keen Google people from across the school and I would be open to try to get a cross section in your pilot group....teaching staff, school management, IT staff, and administrative staff so you have a cross section of the school community to build out from.

From a Google Apps point of view I would say the two main drivers to turbo charge your adoption are 'Chrome browser' and 'Google Classroom;' Drive and Gmail you know about and they are the backbone of successful Google Apps projects but Chrome and Classroom take you to the next level

The Chrome browser is key, not just because Google Apps run better on Chrome, but for two big reason. (1) admin and (2) Apps/extensions. The admin possibilities with Chrome are really powerful and it's easy to get started. You can set home-pages, default Apps and much more. When combined with tools like +Hapara - Making Learning Visible Teacher Dashboard to add extra control for your Chrome usage the possibilities are endless.

Google Classroom is Googles Classroom management solution and while it is certainly not a fully featured LMS which you can manage across the school, it's a great tool for individual teachers to share info with their class. Give teaching staff the freedom to use Classroom and provide some 'quick start' training and you'll be amazed at how quickly it takes off.

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