The Classroom app has been transformational, enabling students to learn wherever they are.
Two years ago, WCG students had access to Google Apps, but teachers only had access to Gmail. Fewer than 200 of the more than 15,500 students used Google Drive, largely because the teachers didn’t have access to Google Apps, so they didn’t encourage students to use it. “We had the Rolls-Royce of apps, but teachers didn’t know how to help students use Google Apps and take advantage of its capabilities,” says Yousef Fouda, chief technology officer at WCG. Teachers felt complacent using Microsoft Office and Outlook, so they didn’t consider changing systems. Fouda saw the opportunity to use technology more effectively to save teachers time and provide a more collaborative learning experience for students.
Fouda didn’t have to think twice about how he could achieve his goal of creating a tech-savvy ecosystem: He launched Google Apps for Education to teachers, introduced Google Classroom across campuses and rolled out Chromebooks for teachers and students. Since students already used Google Apps for Education and teachers were familiar with Gmail, the solution met WCG’s goal to introduce technology that equips students and teachers to connect, work and share. These goals map directly to their use of Google Hangouts, Drive and Google+. The use of Google Apps for Education spread quickly and organically across the campuses. Fouda introduced Google Apps for Education to about 100 teachers and they encouraged 600 more teachers to adopt the technology. Now, 4,000 students and teachers are active on Google Apps every day, a dramatic increase from 200 students two years ago.