What are effective ways of implementing Google Apps for Education?


This coming school year my district will be implementing Google Apps for Education. I will be a part of the team that will lead this implementation. In the coming months we will be trained in Google Apps, but I’m concerned that the focus will be on the products themselves rather than how to effectively teach students how to effectively use them in their schoolwork.

In the past when I’ve introduced a new technology (Schoology as an example) I’ve done little assignments using that technology to build on the skills needed to use it. Because I like using videos, I’ve done video assignments where students needed to accomplish a task (i.e.creating a profile or posting to a message board) on their own time and I made a video tutorial that would guide them if they needed help. That worked fairly well because it was only 110 students and they were all in my class. Google Apps will be introduced district wide (about 1300 students with 600 in my building) so I’d love to hear any ideas or suggestions on how to begin to reach this many students effectively.

For those that have been a part of implementing a technology tool on a large scale, what suggestions do you have or successful/not so successful stories that could help me this school year? For those that haven’t (like me) do you have any ideas/suggestions that you think would work well?