Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 Tips for Efficient Workflows Using Google Apps

Here we are with another release from our GAFE Tips Poster Series! Read on for 10 simple time-saving tips.

You'll definitely want to bookmark this one!

1. Bookmark all tabs
2. Email this page: Download the extension at goo.gl/uix3wo
3. Calendar attachment
4. Gmail filters
5. Jump to a video spot
6. Force "Make a Copy"
7. Search by file type
8. Add someone to a doc
9. Voice typing: Download the add-on at goo.gl/jA1BYP
10. Add-on: Simply Send

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What's next with EdTechTeam?

EdTechTeam is excited about everything the rest of the year has in store for our team, our community, and the field of education. We started the year with an all-team retreat at our Irvine office. All 29 employees (including 22 innovative teachers and educational leaders) came together to dream out loud as architects of what's possible... and to help create the change we want to see in schools. We set ambitious impact goals for the year and renewed our focus helping schools to develop capacity in Courageous Leadership, Empowered Teachers, Engaged Community, Inspiring Spaces, and most importantly, Student Agency.  

We also work with 165 contractors (most practicing teachers, educational leaders, and technical administrators) who help us in our mission by serving as featured speakers at our conference-style summits and our custom professional development events around the globe. This team, and our community, wouldn't be the same without their richly diverse skills and vision.

Between us we have a number of exciting new initiatives planned for 2016, including the first courses and certifications from EdTechTeam Online, at least a dozen inspiring books coming from EdTechTeam Press, expanded operations with our international subsidiaries (especially EdTechTeam Canada and EdTechTeam Australia), all new summit experiences planned for our 5th annual events starting in July, innovative surprises from Breakout EDU (including an all new immersive game we're very excited about), mobile student-facing maker experiences, and many more opportunities for free community engagement. After seeding another 15 class sets of Chromebooks as 1:1 pilots in 2015, we are also preparing an overhaul of our giving strategy that we've just announced!
Thank you for being a part of EdTechTeam's evolution over the past 10 years. We hope we'll be learning with you, and serving your students, for many more. This is only the beginning. 

Mark Wagner, CEO
Meet Mark and learn more about him here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

3 Reasons to Return: Confessions of a #gafesummit Junkie

Michele Osinski is a 5th Grade Teacher at Temecula Valley Unified School District. She's been to 6 EdTechTeam Summits featuring Google for Education and we wanted to know what keeps her coming back for more! She just came full-circle back to Las Vegas a year later after 6 Summits! Her partner in crime is Rosalinda Jaimes, and together, they are the TechFairies.

3 Reasons to Return: Confessions of a Junkie

The most interesting thing about being a life-long learner, to me, is that even after 30 years of teaching, I am never satiated. I am never stagnant. I MUST know more, and often to the detriment of my need for sleep, I feel like I must know everything. Before he passed, my father asked me "How do you know all of this stuff? You didn't go to college to learn about computers!" Honestly, I learned by doing (shout out to Cal Poly!), as I hope my students will. My students know that I know some things, but I am happy to learn right alongside them as we continue integrating more technology into our classroom. I am a teacher who very much believes in student choice and autonomy, and have found that Google tools help me to facilitate teaching and guiding learning in these ways.

So, backtrack to November of 2014 when I saw a tweet or post or got an email (or who knows how or where) about a “Google Conference” in Las Vegas. It had been a while since I’d been to Vegas, and I am always looking for an excuse to travel. I approached my classroom-neighbor and co-teacher, Rosalinda, waving the “Las Vegas carrot” in front of her and told her we HAD to go. We are blessed with a forward-thinking principal who agreed to pay for our registration fees and we agreed to pay for our travel expenses. There was a price, however: we had to agree to train our site’s teachers. This was an easy trade as we knew how hungry our colleagues were to grow in order to help their students grow. Our district had gradually switched over to being a GAFE organization, and we were feeling fairly confident in our implementation of a few things, but we knew there had to be more.

Oh, yes. There is more. So much more.

We arrived Saturday morning at the Southwest Career and Technical Academy really having no idea of what we were in for. By the end of the day, we were looking at each other, astounded, and had trouble putting into words what we were feeling. We’d been bitten by the Googlebug. BADLY.

On Monday (hey, we had to play a bit!), we headed home… planning all the way. We talked and talked and Ro typed copious notes as I drove. We had a lot to try, and thankfully our students were exceptionally curious. As it turned out, they were more than willing to jump into the deep end of the Googlewater with us. Neither of us was afraid of asking them to learn with us and teach us what they discovered.

We also knew that our fellow educators in Temecula Valley needed a EdTechTeam Summit. We immediately began the process of convincing our district-level administration that this needed to happen. On the eve of my fifth Summit, HERE IN TEMECULA, I was asked to share why I keep coming back. I warned the EdTechTeam that I’m a writer, but I’ll do my best to keep this as focused as possible.

Reason #1: The information. Things change so fast. There is always something new. Through social media, we are kept abreast of most changes, but with only 140 characters, most of the in-coming information needs more investigation. Which leads me to the next reason - which really should be #1, but it didn’t flow as well…

Reason #2: The people. The EdTechTeam and the other people I have met, be they presenters or fellow-attendees share the same passion that I do: we want the best for our students. We want them to be prepared for their futures; we need to help develop flexible learners who can collaborate and communicate well. The people I have met at the Summits have become friends and mentors, and we are able to stay connected through social media. I feel completely supported in my endeavors to stay abreast of all of the new information and hope that I can do the same for others. I feel encouraged to go back to my colleagues and my students and push them to try new things.

Reason #3: The format. As stated before, I learn best through participation. Sitting and listening to lectures is not going to work for me, let alone interest me. I have been thoroughly engaged in all of my sessions and encouraged by presenters who offered opportunities to put new ideas to work immediately. Whether a presentation is focused on tools to make instruction or management easier or tools for our students, each has ideas that can be implemented in my classroom the next day.

So there you have it. Three reasons why I keep coming and WILL keep coming back for more GAFE Summits. Coming full circle, in February, I attended my SIXTH GAFE Summit - as a presenter - in Las Vegas, where it all began. I was able to sit alongside new-to-all-of-this teachers in a few of my sessions, see the shock and awe in their eyes, and help them along. I made more new friends and grew my PLN; I enjoyed hanging out with my “tribe”. I just submitted my “Request for Presenters” for the Pomona (LA County) Summit in March. It is so FUN to find passion for something new this late in my career. And, I feel privileged to support “experienced” teachers who may be resistant to or afraid of technology. There is nothing easier to adapt to than Google Apps for Education.

Confessions of a Google Summit Junkie.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February Google for Education Partner News!

Director of Professional Learning

Despite it being the shortest month of the year, February was jam-packed with Googley-Goodness in all shapes and sizes over the globe. Last month, EdTechTeam hosted 25 events in 7 countries!

The events ranged from our six Summits featuring Google in Education in places like India, Missouri and Argentina to our new Certification Bootcamps and in-district customized professional development in Oklahoma and Florida, and a student summit in Alberta.

In February, we reported a combined 288 hours of professional development on behalf of 52 different Google Certified Trainers. As a Google PD Partner, we're responsible for reporting our events that feature Google for Education as well as the hours for all the Google Certified Trainers that work with us.

We are honored to work with so many fabulous trainers and organizations. Thank you for allowing us to share our knowledge and expertise with so many educators and students. Look what's in store for March and contact us about coming to you for a Bootcamp or custom event for your staff!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Are You Ready to Disrupt Learning?

Written by Holly Clark
Educational Strategist - EdTechTeam

In late 2015, my best friend’s daughter was going through something really horrific at school. She would come home and cry about math tests and she was beginning to show signs of hating school.

Tanya and I thought it was because her teacher was so caught up in making sure she delivered certain content in a timely matter, that she had failed to notice that some of her students were not understanding the information. The sad part is that Tanya's daughter was growing frustrated with what she thought was her inability to learn.

One evening while saying her “good-nights,” this sweet seven year old girl confided in her mom about a punishment she had received for talking during class…and as she told her story, her mom began to cry. She quickly called me and told me about what was happening at her daughters school. It is from this story of an unjust and misunderstood punishment that this TEDx talk was written…