(Cross-posted on the Google for Work Blog.)

Remember back in 2008 when the Google for Education team road-tripped across the US, visiting universities using Google Apps for Education? We hardly do, either, which is why we were itching to get back out on the road. This time in the UK. And we brought along a pop-up classroom instead of a bio-fuel bus.

In four weeks, we visited seven schools in England, Wales and Scotland that are doing inspiring and creative things with education technology. We wanted to hear more about how Google for Education tools are helping them to transform their approach to teaching and learning, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for other educators nearby to hear and learn from them, too.
Our pop-up classroom at Wigan UTC

And we weren't disappointed. We heard from Cramlington Learning Village in Newcastle, where Physical Education students have become more engaged by doing their own real-time personalized fitness tracking with Google Sheets on their Chromebooks. That’s what we call healthy competition!

Students of GSCE Physics were getting a last-minute helping hand with their study thanks to revision videos created by the science department hosted on Youtube at The Streetly Academy in Birmingham. “What’s great about them is that we’re used to their style of teaching and their voices – and our teachers know how we learn best,” says Jack Webb, a student of The Streetly Academy.

City Heights E-Act Academy in London also gave media teachers some great ideas, by showing us how their students utilized Google Drive when creating their BBC School Report and giving us a demonstration of their HTML writing abilities.

Students at City Heights E-Act Academy showed off their HTML writing capabilities

We also loved how inquisitive students at the Horsforth Campus of Leeds City College used Google Draw to document and track changes to nearby wetland areas over time, based on their hypothesis about how a nearby motorway is affecting the surrounding ecosystem.

Students at Preston Lodge High School working collaboratively in our pop-up classroom

We toured the world’s first controlled-environment agricultural facility using a Vertical High Density Growing system in an educational institution at Wigan UTC. There, budding food technicians can get hands-on with technology that can help to combat current and future food production issues, working together to track production levels collaboratively with Google Sheets.

In East Lothian, the pipe band at Preston Lodge High School treated us to a roof-lifting performance to start the morning!

The Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band warming up

We heard lots of teacher tips along the way, but our favourite was from Assistant Headteacher David Beesley, who uses boomerang for Gmail to set his emails to send at times he knows his staff are at their desks.

Asst. Headteacher David Beesley sharing his favourite Gmail tips

Students at St. Julian's showed us their favourite apps on Google Play
One day Google for Education might pop up—or roll into—a town near you, but in the meantime you can check out a video of our pop-up classroom being built, captured by the impressive media students at St. Julian’s in Newport, Wales.