Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Highlights from Tri-Association Conference 2016

This year Monica Martinez and Dominique Dynes represented
EdTechTeam at the annual Tri-Association Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico This conference brings together more than 700 people from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the location changes each year. As EdTechTeam, we were able to share four different workshops on Google tools and tips for the classroom. It was fun connecting with old friends and meeting new ones over the three days of learning.

One of morning keynotes, like Jennie Magiera, from Tri-Association Conference
Not only did we spend time in workshops, listening to keynotes and networking with other educators, we also were able to experience “Una Noche Mexicana.” This special evening included dinner at a World Heritage site “El Hospicio Cabañas” with a private concert from world renown lead singer “Fher” from Mana, a traditional mariachi group and an incredible laser light show outside the building to wrap up the night. It was a wonderful experience to be involved in the 2016 Tri-Conference. We’ve included a link to the photo album for the event with a few photo highlights.

Our private concert from Mana in Hospicio Cabañas
Dominique, Monica, Jennie Magiera and David Jakes

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

EdTechTeam: An Apple Professional Learning Provider

EdTechTeam is proud to become an Apple Professional Learning Provider. With a track record of producing conference-style iOS Summits and custom workshops featuring Apple products in education, EdTechTeam builds on their success to offer unique professional learning opportunities in support of the Apple Teacher Program - a new professional learning program designed to celebrate educators and help them make the most of Mac, iPad and built-in apps to Enhance student learning.

EdTechTeam offers a four-week online course for those pursuing Apple Teacher Recognition independently, a full-day workshop for those who want face-to-face support, and a conference for motivating larger communities of educators. Custom solutions are also available to meet the specific needs of a school or district. In addition, the EdTechTeam Community for Apple Teachers is free and open to all educators wanting to learn more about innovative best practices using iPad, Mac and Apple apps for teaching and learning. Learn More ...

About EdTechTeam

EdTechTeam is a global network of education technologists dedicated to inspiring and empowering educators. With 30 full-time employees and over 200 contractors, EdTechTeam provides professional learning services for over 50 thousand educators per year in about two dozen countries. The founders, as well as almost all employees and contractors, are former or practicing teachers and school leaders. Many of them are Apple Distinguished Educators, and others are exemplary Apple Teachers - among the first to earn recognition through the program.

EdTechTeam is best known for producing an annual series of conference-style summits. The team also provides popular workshop-style bootcamps that help teachers earn a variety of certifications. The EdTechTeam Online program offers moderated courses as well as self-paced programs for individuals. In addition, EdTechTeam's Teaching and Learning Division provides a broad selection of custom services directly to schools and districts, including workshops, consulting, and support for change initiatives. School change is never easy, so EdTechTeam encourages a holistic approach focusing on Courageous Leadership, Empowered Teachers, Student Agency, Inspiring Spaces, Engaged Community, and Robust Infrastructure.

Launched in late June 2016, EdTechTeam Press now offers 12 titles and has sold over ten thousand books in the three months since the program launched. EdTechTeam also hosts a widely read blog, and an active online community with over ten thousand members. Also, launched by EdTechTeam 2015, Breakout EDU is now an independent company with another prolific community of about ten thousand members.

A California Benefit Corporation, EdTechTeam donates a percentage of net revenue to a grant initiative that puts devices into the hands of students, and that provides free training to students and their teachers. EdTechTeam also offers free or reduced-price tickets in economically depressed regions and emerging markets so that the people who need it most can also benefit from the learning technologies of today. EdTechTeam encourages educators to "dream out loud" and "be architects of what's possible" in order to create a better future for the students of the world.

Learn More ...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Redesigning the Learning Space


Laurie Guyon
Integration Specialist
Schuylerville Central Schools
Schuylerville, NY
Twitter: @guyonsmile

Have you ever noticed the differences between a kindergarten classroom and a high school math classroom? It’s not just about the height of the chairs, the volume of the students in the space, or the energy level. It’s the visual stimuli that can be the most remarkable variation. Why is it that every surface is covered in one classroom, yet sparsely filled in another? In the book The Space - A Guide for Educators Rebecca Louise Hare and Dr. Robert Dillon discuss how we can find the right balance to make our learning spaces engaging, visually stimulating, student centered, and collaborative.  

Right from the first chapter, the authors point out that we spend time thinking about what we teach, but not as much on where we are teaching. The last few weeks of summer, teachers are in their classroom decorating with freshly bought borders, alphabets, and charts that are hung up, but do we think about the purpose of them?  According to the book “we’re designers, whether we intend to be or not.” Hare and Dillon ask us to ‘think with intention’. What is the space designed for? Who will be in the space? What is the purpose of each nook and cranny? How can we create an environment that doesn’t overwhelm, but instead engages students?

One of the big ‘aha’ moments for me in the book was the comment about when we tend to create our spaces. When a teacher designs the space, we typically do it ahead of school, before, and after school to meet the purpose of the instruction. What the book discusses is that students should be co-designers in setting up the space. Why not have students tell you how they learn best? The book has graphics on student engagement in this process and explain how to keep it ‘BETA’ so if something isn’t working, it can be redesigned. It also emphasizes ‘quiet’ areas to help students who need the noise, both visual and audio, to be minimized at times. The book is rich with photos of creative spaces in action that can be done on any budget. Following #edtechbooks and @Spacethebook will help expand what is learned in the book as people implement the designs taught.  

The book is set-up to allow for writing in the margins and with graphics that help in the planning of a better, more collaborative learning space. It helps you realize the purpose of your learning space. I used the book while planning my new learning space, for my new position this year. I am fortunate to work in a school district that strongly supports the redesign for collaboration. As an integration specialist, I’ll be training teachers on the latest trends in technology and teaching practices to use in their classroom. This book helped the space transform into something that allows for creative thought, collaboration, and comfortable learning. While my classroom is mid-transformation, the teachers that have trained in this new learning space already love the flexibility, comfort, and collaborative nature.  

In one of the classes about redesigning the learning space, in which I used what I learned in the book and the EdTechTeam online Cohort, we came up with a list of words that describe their goals for their classrooms this year. We used the skills gained from the book to create layouts with what we already have, and created wish lists for things that we would like to get in the future. Classrooms in our school will have quiet nooks, standing desks, collaborative groupings, and engaging spaces without visual noise because of this book and the teachers who are embracing the topics learned.

The final gift this book gives is how to create ‘a culture of yes’ which will bring empowerment, energy, and joy to any classroom.  A simple transformation can happen in how we design the walls, how we arrange the furniture, and how we engage our students in the process. “Allow young minds to combine, create, and problem solve…” says Hare and Dillon. The Space teaches us how to make it happen.  
                                        Give yourself the gift of Space today!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Vote Today and Level Up the Summit Experience!

We hope you’ve had a chance to experience an EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education this year.  If you haven’t, make sure you visit to find an event near you!

We are rolling out new sessions, a new app, new fun Googley experiences and more ways for you to have FUN while learning!

  • Candy Table
  • Massage Chairs
  • Balloon Artist
  • EdTechTeam Store - Books, T-shirts, Cardboard
  • What would you like to see?

The new EdTechTeam Events App

EdTechTeam Summit schedules have a new look and feel with our EdTechTeam Events App.  

About three weeks before your Summit you should download the App and start building your schedule.

You can also read all about the speakers, sessions and partners.

Features of the EdTechTeam Events App!

  • Get directions to the event location
  • View Wifi username and password
  • Create a personalized schedule by starring sessions you are interested in attending.
  • Sort sessions by Beginner, Intermediate, Geeky and all other strands
  • Read through speaker and session descriptions and check out the resources linked in the app
  • Provide feedback after each session you attend
  • Vote in the Demo Slam
  • Information on all our Summit Partners
  • ...and so much more

Ignite Sessions - Inspire Us, just make it Quick!

You may have noticed that we’ve changed up our closing session at many of our Summits.  You’ll now probably see about 4 shorter closing sessions called IGNITE Sessions.  The short tag line that would describe the Ignite Session would be - Inspire us, just make it quick.  We know that after attending 2 keynote and 8 breakout sessions that you just want a little inspiration as to how to leave the summit and head back to your classroom.  We hope you enjoy the quick inspiration as you walk out the door!

150 Changes to the Suite

Have you been to an EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education already?  We’d love to see you again!  Did you know that Google has over 150 updates to the Suite every year. There are always new sessions being added to the schedule - new topics, relevant strands and an ever changing suite of tools and learning principles. We can’t wait to see you again soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just Opened: The Google for Education Certified Trainer Application

The new Google for Education Certified Trainer Application is open, and Monica Martinez and Kate Petty from our team held a webinar to give you all the details you need to know to be prepared to apply!

Give them a peek and let us know if you have any questions! Learn more about our Trainer Bootcamps and our Mentoring program.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Going the Distance: EdTechTeam Visits Rural ANZ

One of the challenging realities of a country like Australia is that the bulk of our population is gathered into a handful of large cities. As a teacher, if you happen to live in one of these larger cities you can find plenty of opportunities for attending professional development workshops and conferences. That's why when we started running EdTechTeam Summits in Australia we started with Sydney and Melbourne, but since then we have been able to bring the Summit experience to many other Australian capital cities; Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra have all hosted Summits, some of them several times now, and the feedback has been extraordinarily positive. It's the same situation in New Zealand, where this year we extended the Summit experience to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. And we are planning Summits in even more places next year.

As Director of Professional Learning for EdTechTeam in ANZ, I want to see us also bring our work to those places where teachers often miss out on quality professional learning experiences; in particular to rural, regional and outback Australia. These large (and small) country towns that too often miss out because of the "tyranny of distance". 

Over the past few months, I'm proud of the fact that we have been able to work with teachers in some pretty remote places around Australia. From Mildura, way down on the Murray River, to larger regional centres like Armidale, Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst, to small rural towns like Narrabri and Bourke in outback NSW, we've been able to engage with educators to share inspiring ideas about teaching with technology, and bring the learning directly to them. It's not always easy, as many of these towns are not well serviced by commercial flights, and are often hundreds of kilometres from the next nearest town, but despite the challenge and the expense, I believe it's important that those who teach in the bush are offered the same options for quality PD as those who teach in the cities. 

As one recent workshop participant commented, "This is the best professional learning I have done in a long time!! Thank you", while another said "This is essential PL and has greatly benefited the school community here. I thank you for the effort to come outback!"

Together we can change education... whether that's one city, one town, or even one little outback school at a time! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10 Google Chrome Icons That Will Change Your Online Life

Guide your Google Chrome experience with Chrome Icons

1. Chrome Menu

The Chrome menu is located at the top right of your Chrome navigator just below the tab bar. Look for the three round dots.

Use this menu to access to your bookmarks, settings, extensions, downloads, history and more.

2. Bookmark

You can bookmark webpages by selecting the star with the grey outline located inside of the omnibox on the far right. Once selected, you will be prompted to organize it into a folder. Once bookmarked, the star turns blue.

3. Refresh Button

In general, refresh is another way of describing the process of reloading or updating what is being displayed on the webpage you’re currently on. Click on the refresh button and the page you’re currently on will reload.

4. Forward and Back Arrows

Use the forward and back arrow buttons to go back a page or forward a page when navigating the web.

5. Information Icon

Click on the information icon to see more information about the webpage you're currently on. Note- This icon does not always display as an ‘i’ in a circle. It is sometimes a padlock.

6. New Tab Icon

To open a new tab, click on the ‘Tab’ icon. You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Command+N” or “Ctrl+N”

7. ‘x’ (within the tab]

Click on the ‘x’ within a tab to close that tab.

8. Magnifying Glass/Search

Use the magnifying glass icon to conduct a search on the web or on your device (if a Chromebook)

9. Download Icon

When you download something from the web, the download icon will appear on the bottom left side of your screen.

Note- Go to the Chrome Menu > Downloads to see all your downloaded items and to re-download them if needed

10. Close Icon

The close icon can appear in the top left or right of the Chrome window (depending on your device). Use this icon to close your window completely.