Friday, May 23, 2014

GAFEing IT


Guest Blogger Julie Revell Cross-Post
EdTechTeam New Zealand Summit Attendee

 It has taken more than a few weeks to pare back the explosion of "Google goodness" that abounded at the New Zealand North Island Summit I attended last month at Albany Senior High School. It is really hard not to feel overwhelmed with all of the information and incredible exemplars of learning (N.B: the 'e' is already in there.) I am hoping that writing this will help me pull the strands together! There are so many perspectives to reflect from.

@MissDtheTeacher and @digitallearnin #shenanigans


My Drive is bulging now with more shared documents. Even looking at the document's titles gives me those instant triggers of "Oh yeah, learnt that in that session, will pass that on to..." I wanted to record many of the sessions - flipping them would be great - and would love to have the ability to rewind. Suan Yeo, Google’s Education Evangelist in Asia-Pacific began the Summit. His keynote prompted us (with the help of Simon Sinek's Golden Circle) to think of our learners. Starting with the Why ensures that we are thinking about why we are doing what we do. Suan spoke of the power of technology - it can change lives. Shift your students from being consumers, enable them to be creators.


“Google is great, but it's making our kids dumb.” 

- We need to challenge kids to discover. 


Suan believes it "is imperative that educators continue to innovate with new teaching models and technological advances, or risk getting left behind." Are you asking the ungoogleable questions? Learning is discovery versus searching. “Google is great, but its making our kids dumb.” We need to change this. Discovery is the challenge, focus on the journey. Dorothy Burt's Going Google session was incredibly informative. 

The Point England/Manaiakalani Cluster journey provides an inspirational exemplar to me as an eLearning leader. From that perspective I was (and am) interested in the big picture they have developed. Their vision, and what they have achieved for their community is remarkable. They chose Google Apps for Education for collaboration, a theme that clearly permeated the summit. It was Point England that provided me with an important shift in my thinking. Point England junior educators are using one app. No surprises for which one it is. 

I had previously thought that Explain Everything was a bit too complicated for my Year 2s, and have been mainly using ShowMe for the children's response activities. Having Karen Belt share with me a couple of response activities that they created for their NEs was really powerful. 

I also learnt that they use Hapara's Google Dashboard in the junior school. They are able to create and plan for a week's reading response, and "push out" the Explain Everything activities to all their student's iPads. From a classroom management/workload perspective I am sold on Dashboard. I had fears that Dashboard wouldn't play nicely with the iPads, but these have been allayed. It was great to hear that Hapara's Teacher Planning step for Dashboard is in BETA. '



It's fantastic when the Professional Development that you attend specifically caters to your next steps, and this is certainly what the Summit provided for me. I now need a winter's worth of rainy Sundays to work on my class' (and our school's) Google Sites. Fiona Grant, and Allanah King your resource sites are tremendous! Wendy Gorton's session on Google Sites as a Learning Management System was one that I wish I could have recorded. My colleagues were thinking that I was off-task on this one, as there were few notes recorded! The session was so practical, I was too busy playing. Loved it.

And I just have to mention Jim Sill. OMG. He spoke in his Keynote about the internet being a creator of culture. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to You Tube every minute. Amazing educator. Google him.

And the best part of the Summit? Seeing my mates, meeting people IRL and making new connections. #geeksrock

11 comments:

  1. I agree, Juliett. It is truly amazing. I was fortunate enough to be able to present at both Summits, North and South Island of New Zealand. Remebering too that all of these teachers were there in their school holidays. Ready to learn, connect and share.

    I loved the way they organised the break sessions with long enough for people to mingle in groups or one to one to really dig deeper on what people had heard. The breaks were much more than a time for people to move from one room to another.

    I am really pleased that I went to both events as it gave me that chance to soak up even more. My Diigo and Too Many Tabs extensions are still waiting there for me as I pick on thing to work on each weekend.

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