HILLSBOROUGH: Video starring township kids, staff goes ‘viral’ on Internet

It’s part of partnership with Google

   Hillsborough Township Public Schools’ elementary schools were among the first in the country to use Google Play for Education, an online destination for teachers to find educational apps for use in the classroom.
   Now the whole world knows about it.
   Hillsborough was used as the setting and cast for an Internet video that showcased the launch of Google Play for Education on Nov. 13.
   Superintendent Jorden Schiff said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting that the video has received 40,000 “hits” and been commented on by people in Russia, Germany, India and other countries.
   In April 2013, Hillsborough’s six elementary schools were chosen to participate in a pilot program with Google. The district was given 3,000 Nexus 7 tablets for use in the classroom by students and teachers in kindergarten through 4th grade. Google provided the tablets and apps. Select teachers provided weekly opinions and ideas to the Google team regarding their experiences with Google Play for Education in their classrooms.
   ”Hillsborough School District has a strong vision for how they want technology to change their classroom, so we knew they’d put our tablets to the test. They gave us invaluable feedback as we built a solution that was optimized to make teachers’ lives easier and improve students’ learning,” said Rick Borovoy, product manager for Google Play for Education.
   Both students and staff were thrilled as they used technology in new and compelling ways to learn. They were also excited to participate in the video showcasing the new online destination.
   During the week of Oct. 7, students and staff at Woodfern, Triangle, Woods Road and Hillsborough elementary schools were visited by a film crew. The crew filmed students and teachers using the tablets in the classroom, and interviewed students, teachers and administrators about their experiences with the tablets in classroom. The video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzvpcEffvaE.
   ”We’ve been looking at how technology can be a culture change in education not just a tool to get on the Internet,” said Joel Handler, Hillsborough’s Director of Educational Technology. “To see a teacher differentiating each child’s learning experience specific to their individualized needs via these tablets is an amazing advantage in the classroom. One student who is struggling may get an app for additional practice of a concept, while a teacher may provide a more advanced student with another app that reaches beyond the original concept.”