Our Journey to become a Google Reference School

Our Journey to become a Google Reference School - By: Anahi Paredes, Curriculum Director, American School of Tegucigalpa

As the saying goes, “think big, start small”. Our Google rollout began quite a few years ago in 2008. We started small, introducing Google apps and creating policies for responsible use of gmail accounts as well as promoting digital citizenship and online safety among staff and students. Teachers created Google Sites to communicate classroom news with students and their families. In 2012, Chromebooks were introduced as part of our 1:1 laptop program, allowing students a safer and faster connection and expanded use of Google tools (Docs, Sheets, Drawings and Slides). 

In 2014, we met our goal of becoming a 1:1 school (700+ Chromebooks were deployed), integrating Google tools seamlessly to support our lesson planning schema. Student engagement and collaboration improved as a result of increased opportunities for peer feedback, timely checks for understanding and use of formative assessment tools. The regular use of Google Workspace motivated our teaching and support staff to obtain professional development through the available Google Educator certifications. With the support of our in-house Google Trainer, today 84% of our staff are Level 1 Google certified educators and 17% are Level 2. We are confident these numbers will continue to grow.

The pandemic has forced all of us to turn to digital tools to support curriculum and instruction. No one could have foreseen students would be learning in a remote modality for so many months. Google Workspace for Education has given the AST community more than a toolkit to support teaching and learning. It has helped to simplify everyday tasks and equip our students to acquire the skills they need to prepare for the future. We are proud to be the first school in Honduras and Central America to be recognized as a Google Reference School. This is more than a badge for AST, it reflects our continued commitment to being true to our mission of being an innovative school. 

Best wishes for a new year filled with opportunities to think big, start small and learn deep!

To learn more about our journey with Google Workspace for Education and our Story of Impact contact Anahi Paredes at aparedes@amschool.org