Wednesday, October 26, 2016

To the Moon and Beyond: San Diego Summit 2016

Valerie Ruiz
Special Education Teacher
Sweetwater Union High School District

I almost didn't come to the GAFE Summit. I was filled with anxiety as I drove over the Coronado Bridge. I didn't know one person who was going to be there and I find technology to be scary. However, I thought of my main goal for this year and it is to face my fears.  See, I'm turning 40 in May of 2017 and I realized fear held me back from a lot of things; however, THIS year I was going to conquer them. In July, I conquered my fear of swimming in the open water and completed my first triathlon. But, I was putting off my fear of failing in the classroom. I heard about the GAFE Summit after I participated in EdCamp619 and I realized this was how I was going to face my fear.

After being home for four hours, I've added an extension to my Chrome Browser (albeit be Bitmoji), used Google Drawing, completed a Pear Deck for Thursday's PD, created Twitter Bingo so I can encourage others to use it all while listening to Google Play. I've been researching how to get all those cool Google Badges and how to participate in EdTechTeam Online Classes.  I will earn those certificates and present at a GAFE Summit because, like Jeffery Heil and Google's Moonshot Thinking, I need to be 10x better.  I was at ground zero on Saturday Morning and now I'm shooting for the moon. Thank you for a wonderful experience and I look forward to growing with you.

Update: It has been a week since I attended the GAFE Summit.  Since then, I presented at a district wide PD about my fear of technology and my take-aways from the summit. My thoughts were published in the district Sweetwater Learns Blog as well as being asked to present at another PD. Professionally, It has been an exciting week for me.  Also, personally, I finally feel comfortable with failing. I now know that this is where true learning begins.

Valerie Ruiz attended The San Diego Summit 2016 Oct. 8th-9th. She has been a special education teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District for the past 17 years. Currently, Mrs. Ruiz is part of the Special Education Academic Support Team at Special Services. Follow her on Twitter @mrsvruiz.

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