Friday, February 13, 2015

Beware of the ‘GAFE Summit Hangover’

Guest Blogger:

Jessica Pidkowa
Senior High Social Studies Teacher
Rundle College Senior High

Much like a great night out on the town, the EdTechTeam GAFE Summits are fast paced, full of energy and involve a lot of meeting new people. When you are living in the moment of the Summit, you don’t want to stop! You take it all in during the keynotes and sessions, and you certainly don’t want to miss out on anything. When you get back to your hotel room at night, you feel inclined to create new resources right away, fearing the dreaded ‘use it or lose it’ phenomenon. On top of that, you meet some amazing like-minded individuals so you are arranging to connect with them after the conference to learn more of their tips and tricks! And then you repeat it all the next day…

So this all sounds fantastic, right? Absolutely, and it is. But just beware of what I would call the ‘Google Summit Hangover’. No, it is not alcohol induced, but it does involve the same euphoric feeling followed by becoming rather fuzzy headed.

I experienced my ‘hangover’ on my plane ride back from the Summit. Seated next to a woman who had just attended a conference about neuroscience and the autism spectrum, she saw me feverously jotting my Googly notes and took this happenstance as an intellectual opportunity to discuss educational pedagogy. I could have brought up some of my new ideas for increasing student engagement, discussed methods for differentiation, or ways to provide immediate feedback to students, but unfortunately, my side of the conversation was more along the lines of “At my conference I learned…. um stuff…. Docs…. Forms…. um… interactive…. thingies”. Needless to say, I don’t think I represented myself in the most intellectual light, and not surprisingly, the conversation didn’t last long. Having pushed myself to do it all at the Summit (and I am so glad I did!) the adrenaline rush ended abruptly, resulting in one small side effect of becoming quite empty-headed on the plane ride home.

Fortunately, this side effect was not permanent and the next day I was no longer suffering symptoms of my so-called ‘hangover’. I am now happily applying the wonderful things I learned to my high school classroom. But just a few words of advice for when you are coming home from your next summit: It might be a good idea to plan to watch TV on the plane ride home, perhaps even tuning in to something extremely educational such as The Bachelor.

What's your Summit Hangover Story? Share it with us in a comment..we'd love to hear it.

To learn more about an upcoming summit, register for an EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education in your region, or contact EdTechTeam about custom professional development and organizational change coaching.

EdTechTeam is a California Benefit Corporation and global network of educational technologists dedicated to improving the world’s education systems using the best technology and learning principles available. EdTechTeam produces Future Ready Schools summits and custom professional development for teachers and school leaders around the globe.


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