Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Getting Geeky: Gamification-Style at the Minnesota Summit

Guest Blogger Geri Feiock 
Attendee at the EdTechTeam Minnesota Summit
Ft. Google for Education

The 2nd annual Minnesota Summit Google for Education put an extra special spin on “getting going, gearing up, and getting geeky” by providing a gamification-style experience for all! Excitement was in the air, as we collected physical stickers and digital badges throughout the day. 

Twitter was on fire during Mark Garrison’s amazing keynote as he seamlessly tied his canoe trip adventure into his message (with bonus marital advice to boot!) I tweeted a couple of standout quotes from Mark: 

“We need to bring everyone along on this journey before the gap gets any wider!” and “Technology and exploration not only complement each other; they are one in the same!” 

Just some of the badges attendees earned this weekend!

 As I ventured into my first session, David Malone lead me to a few of my new favorite Chrome extensions: 1-Click Timer, OneTab, and Tab Scissors. I will definitely be sharing his suggested extensions with our district teachers during my GAFE training sessions. In my next session, Naomi Harm did an outstanding job of clarifying the differences between Chrome and Google Drive add-ons, extensions, and apps with guidelines on when to use each type. Naomi demonstrated how add-ons are an effective way to access many tools directly within documents and spreadsheets. I will be using Twitter Curator to make a collection of relevant tweets to pass along to staff while automatically including appropriate citations.

 Lunch time was the perfect chance for us to network with other Google enthusiasts and pose for pictures in the photo booth. After lunch, Sean Beaverson helped us “Doctor that Workflow” using EasyBib, Lucidchart, Kaizena, autoCrat, Flubaroo, and Doctopus. Digging deeper into AutoCrat and Doctopus with our classroom teachers is now on the top of my list!

 During the last session, I enjoyed Molly Schroeder’s “Best Practices in a Paperless Classroom.” Molly did a crowd-pleasing demo of FormEmailer and clarified the differences between old and new sheets. I posted one of my favorite quotes from Molly’s session on Twitter: 

“When building a Google Form, think like a spreadsheet!” 

 Doctopus and Goobric help teachers overcome the challenges associated with sharing documents with students via “File > Make a Copy” and using Google Forms to collect assignments. Other take-aways include using digital snapshots to turn in work, collecting notes/annotations in Read&Write for Google, and creating three folders for students using gClass Folders. 

 Along these same lines, the global EdTech community is looking forward to finding out how Google Classrooms may streamline these tasks even more! Our day at the Summit concluded with a “high octane” Demo Slam including incognito selfies using CamMe, free/powerful photo editing using pixlr.com, photo collages using Loupe Collage, a Gmail snooze script, Google Maps Engine Light and more! I look forward to passing along all of the gems I gathered throughout the day. As I eagerly await the news to hear if my Google Teacher Academy and Google Education Trainer applications have been approved, I will follow one of the best tips of the day from Naomi Harm to try out the new things I’ve learned within the next 72 hours.

 Attending the Minnesota Summit featuring Google for Education was a Saturday well spent!

Interested in going to a summit of your own? Check the schedule here!


  1. Can you tell me more about the badges? How did you earn them? Who spearheaded the idea?

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