Here is a recap of some things I have thought about after participating in the latest #GIESummit in Arkansas sponsored by AppsEvents in partnership with Conway Schools.
Superintendent Greg Murray, Director of Instructional Services +Debbie Miller , Technology Coordinator +Joel Dean are experts at creating a culture of enthusiasm and professionalism. Conway teachers are open minded, forward thinking, ambitious, self~directed and most of all 'happy.' Happiness and positive energy fills the air. This not only sets the stage for a successful days for Google training but it is clear that this is the norm all year.
From the Conway Schools, Tina Lampe and +Katti Bowen hosted Google Classroom; Debbie Miller with support from the Conway students hosted 'Google Through the Grades' highlighting how students advanced levels of Google Integration and higher order thinking skills progressively. Be on the lookout for this to be bigger and better at the 2015 Summit. +Stacy DeFoor , +Leigh Masterton and +Crystal Rehm hosted Chromecast and AddOn's ~ a session I would have very much liked to have attended.
This combined with the fine coordination by +Rowland Baker and +AppsEvents and a crowd eager to learn and shared created the perfect storm for an extraordinary event.
PS ~ Go to Arkansas after a 5 Day Fast with a Big Appetite
"Conway Public Schools did a wonderful job hosting this event. Their high school is beautiful and the facilities were great! Lunch was outstanding and the warm cookies and hot chocolate/coffee hit the spot in the afternoon. I hope to attend again next year."
"This was my second year!!!! I have enjoyed both and became Google Certified after last year's training. I have taught for 20 years and both conferences are the best planned and most beneficial of any conference I have ever attended. Thank you!!!!"AppsEvents' own Daniel Taylor, hosted the new Admin Certification Training on Saturday as an entire strand which will in the future be a stand~alone event the same day as Google Bootcamps. You can also take the Admin Certification Course online at appseventscourses.com
You cannot lead without support! +Adam Stroman, +Don Clifft and +Craig Niswonger make sure the technology delivers seamlessly makes it all happen. Mitzi Pratt is superwoman when it comes to coordinating with Debbie's lead.
Conway School District has the organization of a 'successful business' and that I think is key. Schools looking to make positive change should see what they can learn from the folks here.
Google Continues to be a Treasure Trove of Opportunity.
- The Research Tool! Obvious to some Googlers a mystery to many. If you don't know what the research tool is (available in Docs, Draw and Slides) and you are a teacher, watch this video. Show your students. They will want to hug you.
- If you want to really impress your kiddos, show them the EasyBib AddOn. AddOn's are fairly new so many are not aware that you can create your works cited page within the Google Document with the EasyBib Add On.
- You can leverage the use of the iPad with Google by taking advantage of the new Google Classroom! Thanks to Jennifer Scheffer for those tips in her session. She also dazzled us with Student Help Desk for GAFE and many left with that in their 'action plan!'
- Hangouts on Air for Morning Announcements? Brilliant. Want to learn more? Ask Brad Cowger. How about Hangouts for Virtual Office Hours? Daniel Moix is your go to person for that!
- Universities really ARE taking advantage of the Google Tools as +Michael Mills showed us in his 'paperless classroom' session.
- We are always lucky to have +Donnie Piercey as he knows how to teach and entertain.
- And thank you +Rachel Small for arranging last minute travel so you could lead sessions for those 'new' to Google.
I love this comment from one of the attendees in response to the announcement about Arkansas Google for Education Summit (#3) 2015: "Like the Terminator, "I'll be baaaack."
Another writes: "I have attended both years of the Arkansas Google Summit and was excited when I left each time! The topics covered were diverse, informative and very applicable to me as both a classroom teacher as well as a person who provides professional development to others. I will make all efforts to attend every year as long as the conference "grows" with us i.e. providing more and more advanced and new tools from year to year. Thank you Conway School District and Google trainers!"
Thank you to all that attended, presented, and coordinated/hosted the #GIESummit in Arkansas. It was truly an energizing and uplifiting experience and I am already looking forward to seeing you again next year. ~ Allison