Creek Squad show Prairie students the ins and outs of Google

CEDAR RAPIDS — Teacher Lindsay Zimmerman-Tippie wanted to bring in some experts to show her eighth grade Prairie Point Middle School students how to better use Google applications.

Her mother, teacher Sandi Zimmerman, had the experts she needed, and it just so happens theyre eighth graders as well.

A group of students from Clear Creek-Amana Middle School spent their early dismissal day demonstrating the use of Google Apps to Zimmerman-Tippies English classes. The group, which calls itself the Creek Squad, conducted seminars to teach the Prairie students how to use the Google Sites application to create their own websites.

The Creek Squad group was formed last year by Principal Brad Fox and Sandi Zimmerman to act as technology gurus for the district, both teachers and students.

Its snowballed from our original plan to the point where theyre our districts first line of defense, Zimmerman said.

The squad taught classes on Google Apps to students and staff at Clear Creek-Amana before, but this was their first time working outside of their district. All school districts in Iowa received access to the web-based programs last summer.

At our school, everyone knows each other, so its easier than presenting to a group of strangers. I think Im good at it, but it takes an outsiders point of view to know for certain, said Miles Lucas, 14, who donned a microphone headset to show a room full of students how to create websites.

The Prairie Point students will be using what they learned in the weeks ahead to create a website for books theyre reading in Zimmerman-Tippies class.

Its hard, but its also fun, said Tyler Sanborn, 14. I think Ill get more used to it as time goes on.

The Creek Squad students got more comfortable as the day went on, said Zimmerman-Tippie. She hopes that this is the first of many collaborations between the two schools.

Some of the students came up to me and said they were going to try creating sites as soon as they got home, she said.

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