Using GAFE For the 4C's

By Sharon Christensen

In order to be successful in the 21st century, global society, students need experience in the 4C’s: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking. Since Northside became a Google Apps for Education district, this task has become much more feasible. Academic Technology Coaches Sharon Christensen and Angela Turner set out to put this to the test. First, to encourage collaboration, English 3 teachers Christine Mills from Business Careers High School and Anne Kolle, from John Jay High School met virtually using Google Hangouts to plan a meeting of their second period classes as a culminating activity for their study of The Crucible  by Arthur Miller. Mills, a new teacher loved learning from Kolle, a seasoned, experience teacher.  Collaboration between the students in two classes was planned using Google Classroom, Padlet, and Kahoot as the technology tools. The teachers report they really benefited from communicating outside the walls of their own classroom and campus to see the perspective of a fellow NISD teacher working on the same thing. Students and teachers both were stretched creatively to formulate multi-media Padlet responses using technology as well as the textbook. Critical thinking was tapped as students supported their opinions to the tasks with textual evidence. Students on both sides of the screen enjoyed seeing fellow NISD juniors and hope to have the opportunity to “hang out” again soon.