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Norris School District selected as Google Reference District

Norris School District selected as Google Reference District

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Norris School District has been selected as a Google for Education Reference District. Google for Education Reference Districts are districts that demonstrate excellence and leadership through the innovative use of technology, including G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.  Currently less than 150 schools worldwide are recognized as Google Reference Districts.  Of those 150 districts less than 100 are in the United States.

 The Norris District was one of the first districts in Nebraska to adopt G Suite for Education within their entire district.  In 2011 the district was the first in Nebraska to purchase and deploy Chromebooks within the district.  Currently, Chromebooks make up over half of all devices sold to schools in the nation.  As Reagan TeKolste, Norris High School Student Council Representative  to Board of Education stated,  “The tools provided to us through Google Apps for Education have helped us work together, share with one another, and learn from each other. I think it’s good preparation for the world beyond school.”  The Gsuite for Education tools are provided to districts at no cost.  At first this was a driving force in the adoption for the district but now it’s a secondary benefit compared to the way it has changed the culture of sharing and collaboration between staff and students.

Mr. Noel Erskine, Technology Director at Norris Schools, saw the collaboration and cost benefit potential as a game changer for education  As he stated,  “GSuite for education totally changed our district. It solved many technology problems including software installations, collaboration, off site access and more.  We have been Google so long now I can not imagine running a school without Gsuite and the Google Tools.” Expanding on this idea, Norris Superintendent Dr. John Skretta remarked that “The use of Gsuite has streamlined workflow for our admin team, whether meeting by Google Hangout or having the capacity to revise, share, and publish key documents immediately in a highly collaborative environment.”

The Gsuite and Chromebooks have impacted the Norris District throughout the K-12 classrooms as well as administrative aspects of the entire district. The district will be a 1-1 take home environment in the Norris High School this upcoming year. The Gsuite tools have allowed students and staff 24x7 access to their educational tools both on and off campus.  The 1-1 takehome program will now allow students to have new and capable hardware to address their learning needs. The district also has heavy saturations of Chromebooks in their other schools including a  new rollout of touch screen Chromebooks in the elementary building based on badge logins for easy access.  This quick access allows the younger students to easily login securely without the normal hassles and problems associated with standard login procedures.  

For further information, contact Norris Technology Director Noel Erskine at noel.erskine@nsdtitans.org or Norris Superintendent Dr. John Skretta at john.skretta@nsdtitans.org or direct at 402-440-9092