NEWS RELEASE – April 18, 2017
For more information contact West Ottawa Director of Instructional Technology Jordan Beel at (616) 786-2086
West Ottawa School District is providing each middle and high school student with a Chromebook and its expertise with Google applications have enabled it to become one of the first districts in the country designated as a Google Reference District.
That designation will lead West Ottawa to show other districts how to use Google applications in the classroom.
“Your organization is doing exemplary things with Google tools, and you’re joining a select group of innovative districts and independent schools,” Google stated in a letter announcing West Ottawa had been chosen as one of its Reference Districts.
As one of the first earning that designation, West Ottawa will be listed in Google’s directory of schools across the country that can be contacted to see how they are using Google products and make itself available for “Show & Tell” site visits that will help other districts learn how to use Google applications in the classroom.
“It is a testament mainly to our teachers for doing such a great job with the G Suite Apps we’ve been using for a while and now with being 1:1 Chromebooks at 6-12,” said Jordan Beel, West Ottawa’s director of instructional technology, while referring to West Ottawa providing a Chromebook to every student in grades 6-12 thanks to residents’ approval of a 2014 bond proposal.
Beel said he learned about the pilot program at a conference this past summer and applied to become of the initial districts chosen to participate in it. He also gave Google feedback on the process of the program.
He said he will likely use the branding badge it received as one of the reference districts in digital and print materials he makes and distributes to parents/teachers/students regarding Chromebooks and G Suite Apps. Beel is a “Google Certified Trainer” and some of West Ottawa’s teachers have gone through training to become “Google Certified Educators.”