ISF Waterloo, the first ‘Google School’ in Belgium
Tuesday, 01 March 2016
ISF Waterloo has become the first school in Belgium to have officially ‘gone Google’. All classrooms have been fitted out with digital, interactive whiteboards with students using tablets and chromebooks to access cloud based apps and tools to inspire and drive them in their learning. In addition, all of the school’s teachers completed the Google Basic certification and a group of 4 Google Guru’s completed more than 100 hours of online tutorials in preparation for Google’s rigorous certification examinations, all four passed and are now Google Certified Educators.
In the next step on this path to inspired learning, ISF achieved another first – becoming the first school to launch a Google Educators Group (GEG). School leaders Mrs Belinda Yates and Ms Orla Mcloughlin were nominated by Google Trainer Allison Mollica to lead the first group of this kind in Belgium.
Mrs Yates explains: “GEGs are independently run communities of educators who inspire and empower each other to meet the needs of students through technology both in the classroom and beyond. Via face to face meetups, and online activities, GEGs provide a way for educators who are passionate about education and technology to meet like minded people and share, learn, and collaborate together”.
Teachers, pupils and parents can collaborate with educators around the world and learn from each other.
Ms Mcloughlin is very excited about the progress made so far: “Through the GEG, ISF has already made connections with numerous other schools in Belgium and plan to work also with some local schools in Flanders”.
At a Google event in Brussels on October 21st, the group was launched to a wider community of educators and schools throughout Flanders that are using Google Apps, with the aim to increase the membership of the group and have educators posting and sharing in all the languages of Belgium.
Since then, the launch membership of the group has kept rising and now stands at 102 members, varying from international and state schools from all over Belgium. People are the power behind the group and increased membership will increase the usefulness and effectiveness of the GEG ‐ GEG Belgium needs to be broadcast to a wider audience.
“We are very excited by this new venture and hope that we can help, encourage and inspire other teachers, students and schools on their Google journeys” Mrs Yates and Ms Mc Loughlin conclude.