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Roots Director of Operations and Innovation Discusses Use of Google Apps

Roots Director of Operations and Innovation, Jill Tew, shares the importance of Google Apps to Root's instructional and operational model.


Transcript: Jill Tew: I think Google and its kind of skeleton will always make sense for us as kind of the core engine that we’re building our tools around, especially the calendaring tool as the most extreme example. So, the calendaring tool that we use for scholars to each have their own personalized schedule of where they’re going from Grove Center to Grove Center, to small group classroom, to large group classroom, et cetera – the guts of that – the data behind it is all powered by the Google calendar API so that teachers can just schedule a lesson like literally using Roots e-mail addresses for all the scholars for a small group lesson, or for a large group lesson, or for recess – for kind of every part of their day. We’re using Google calendar for a lot of that. And so, that to me will always make sense – that we don’t need to create Google calendar – like Google spent a lot of money and time creating Google calendar and they’re always improving the interface and how it works. I think for us to shift our core competency from being a really phenomenal school to being a phenomenal school and a side team that develops software doesn’t make a ton of sense for us, at least at this stage. So, I never want to duplicate something that’s already out there, because it’s just going to be extra resources for us to maintain it and to grow with it. So, if Google’s going to handle the calendaring and the API and the data behind that, that’s great for us. What might change and what I think will change a lot as we learn more and our kids get older and kind of continue to push us on how we’re personalizing learning for them is the skin on top of that – so, the interface and how scholars are experiencing the tool.

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