River Valley School is an independent Pre-K to Grade 6 school in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At River Valley School, students are immersed in hands-on, inquiry and project-based learning experiences that challenge them to question, explore and create. Educational ICT Coordinator Geoff Jones learned about Workspace Skills from a professional learning workspace he attended. Geoff was intrigued by the interactive training and signed up to try out the tutorials with his teachers.
After joining River Valley School in 2021, Geoff noticed that while teachers had been using Google Workspace for Education, there was a need to increase the knowledge, understanding, and possibilities offered by the Google tools for his teachers. He wanted to develop a common language and understanding of the Google tools so they could better support students.
Once learning about Workspace Skills at a training he attended himself, Geoff piloted Workspace Skills, a series of interactive tutorials, with a small group at River Valley School. Based on the increase in digital literacy skills of those who tried Workspace Skills, Geoff decided to launch Workspace Skills with educators across the school in order to support the development of digital literacy skills.
Use of Workspace Skills with River Valley School educators also inspired Geoff to offer a province-wide virtual Professional Learning opportunity called “Putting Google on your CV.” The participants were enthusiastic about the differentiated learning offered throughout the interactive tutorials and Geoff notes that “Workspace Skills really allows for differentiation within a teaching body-it allows me to support everyone.”
River Valley School administration has set the goal that by June 2023 all teachers earn their Google for Education Certified Level 1 certification. As of May 2022, a quarter of the educators at have reached this goal. Geoff notes that River Valley School is in a “good place to reach their 100% certification goal and hopes to offer an in-person training and exam session in the coming months.”
Geoff has found that “Workspace Skills is a well-rounded program that covers many Google platforms and provides users with a complete training in how to use the basic and practical functions of each” and has helped his teachers to develop confidence, competence and efficiency in using Google Workspace for Education.