I was delighted to attend and present at the Orange County Summit in Laguna Beach last week (August 9 - 10). Roni Habib, our opening keynoter, kicked off the summit reminding us to always, always put our students' well-being first. He shared how people learn in a much deeper way when they are happy and that relationships are biggest predictor of happiness as well as longevity. He urged us to take the time for some play with our students and to attend to each of them individually. We even all took a few minutes to play during his talk, and went away in upbeat moods, more ready to learn during the rest of the day.
I presented two sessions on Tuesday. The first was to get attendees up and running with Twitter as a must-use part of a personal learning network. Here are the slides:
The second was on all things Google images - how to use Google to find, enhance, and create images, and guidelines on copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use to let you know what you can and can't use in classroom and published works. Here are the slides:
My slides are never intended to be self-explanatory, so do contact me with any questions.
I also enjoyed learning about WeVideo, a great cloud-based video editing tool, from Greg Gardner. And, Kevin Fairchild helped me learn what I can do with simple scripting in Google Sheets.
We began Wednesday with a keynote by Jeff Heil, who asked us to consider what if every child believed s/he had the power to change the world? Like Roni Habib, he stressed the importance of building relationships. He urged us to go for moonshot thinking, not allow failure as an option for our students, and to help give the voiceless a voice to tell their stories and thereby transform their learning.
I presented three sessions on Wednesday. The first was about Google Forms, including all the amazing ways they can be used to gather data and go paperless, how to create them, and how to take advantage of special features and add-ons. Here are my slides. Even if you weren't at the summit, you can see an example of using Forms with the great Publisher add-on if you fill out the form on Slide 2; you'll get an automatically-generated Google Doc back.
My next session was about Google Slides, with a focus on its Research Tool feature and how to use it to easily introduce the concepts of Copyright, Creative Commons, giving credit, and respect for intellectual property with students:
I also shared several innovative ways to use Google Slides beyond their traditional role of supporting presentations.
In my last presentation, I shared some of the ways to take advantage of Google Hangouts and Hangouts on Air tools and the mechanics of setting them up:
During my one free concurrent session time, I went to one by Tracy Poelzer on a wide variety of great ways to connect our students with the world. Many of her suggestions could be handled through Google Hangouts, and I urged attendees at my Hangouts session to visit her slides and resources for more help taking advantage of Hangouts.
The summit wrapped up with a keynote by Tracy on how to overcome the imposter syndrome most of us teachers feel. She urged us to stop comparing our insides to other people's outsides, to still the voice inside us that puts ourselves down, and to be aware how contagious emotions are. We as teachers need to realize and celebrate that we are NOT "just" teachers; we are really big deals! A book she recommended as a followup, which is now on my "to read list," is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.
What a super way to spend two days, learning and networking with other enthusiastic educators! It's also always great fun reconnecting with old friends. Here's me with Kevin Fairchild, one of my Mountain View Google Teacher Academy (#GTAMTV14) cohort members:
And, here I am with my teacher librarian friend, Kat Tacea.
And, of course, I met so many new friends! Here's a tweet from one of them, Shannon Bray:
Thanks, Shannon! I should have had the camera out more often to document so many new friends!
Many thanks to the EdTechTeam and Master of Ceremonies Kate Petty for a terrific summit!, to see more about what the EdTechTeam is up to, follow the #gafesummit hashtag on Twitter.