Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Out of This World

Guest Blogger Nathan Manderfield
3rd Annual California Summit Presenter

The EdTechTeam California Summit in Palo Alto, CA was my second Google educational Summit. I attended my first summit just months earlier when EdTechTeam hosted a summit near my home in Indio, CA. My experience at the summit in Indio was incredible. The energy, the variety of speakers, the ability to collaborate with like minded people, and the demo slam at the end of the first day all stuck with me. I left that experience with not only a ton of ideas, but also a desire to attend a summit as a presenter. I applied to present at the California Summit and was thrilled when I was accepted.

I spent the first part of my summer preparing two sessions to present: The Magic of Project Based Learning and Ten Tips Tricks and Take Aways. I also prepared something extra special for the demonstration slam at the end of day one. I have to admit going into the California Summit I had mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement. I was excited to be around so many talented educators and ideas. At the same time I was nervous about presenting at such a big conference. It turns out I had nothing to be nervous about. Both of my sessions were amazing. I began each session with a little magic (my summer hobby) and the audience loved it. Each session was interactive and I received fabulous feedback. 

At the demo slam I presented Kahoot. Kahoot is an on-line platform that allows you to build your own custom quizzes and then turns any internet connected device into a buzzer to play the game. Part of each demo slam is presenting your idea or application in a fun way. I decided to take my slam back to the 1980’s. I dressed as Miami Vice’s Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and presented Kahoot with a 1980’s trivia quiz. I came out to my own theme music and even used a little magic to do a quick change towards the end. Finally, it is tradition at the end of the slam to say, “Slam”. I decided to let Onyx, a 1990’s rap group, do it for me, so I left the stage to their song “Slam”. I had a blast.

When I wasn’t presenting I went to other sessions ranging from design thinking to online portfolios. Each session inspired me to take my teaching to a whole new level. The energy and “moonshot” thinking at the conference reinforced the bright future we have in education.

My two days at the California Summit were amazing. I learned so much and made connections that will last a lifetime. I am excited to share what I learned with my students this fall. I plan to stay connected to the EdtechTeam and present at future conferences. Whether you have the opportunity to go to a Summit as a presenter or a participant the experience is truly out of this world!

Catch one of our upcoming California Summits to have a time like Nathan! Marin, San Diego, Napa, Los Angeles coming up this year!


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