Today I attended the first annual (I hope!) SC Midlands Summit - a two day conference focused on Google Apps for Education (with some other tech topics thrown in the mix, too!) I was excited to learn of this professional development “in my own backyard” (sort of!) as I am not going to be able to attend UTC this summer, but still wanted to attend some technology professional development.
Today’s keynote was given by Jamie Casap and focused on how to leverage technology in education to build essential skills our students need to function in today’s global society. A couple “quotes” (’cause I could have mades some of it up!) are:
- our current mode of education is isolation mode and we need to be collaboration mode (need to teach our kids how to collaborate EFFECTIVELY!)
- we need to teach our kids how to process info, not recite facts
- we need to teach our kids how to vet information, crowd source, and analyze!
- only about 10% of the world’s info is online
Next as someone who has heard of Google Apps for Education, but never investigated it, I attended the “Google Apps for Education Overview” session given by Becky Evans. I think this would be awesome for our school (and district, but that’s pie in the sky wishful thinking) – especially with the special project my principal has asked me to investigate over the summer. Google Apps for Ed (and I think Chromebooks) would be a perfect complement to the project.
The third session I attended sure had a lot of media specialists in attendance! I went to the “Google book Search, Book Lists, & eBooks” given by Carol LaRow. You’d think I wouldn’t need this (and you’re right), but I was hoping to learn some more tips and tricks (which I did! – so the session wasn’t a washout!)
Next up I changed my mind from the session I originally planned to attend and decided to go to Donna Teuber’s session on “Hanging Out with Google+” instead. While I have a Google+ account, I don’t really use it! I was hoping to learn more, and I did! I really enjoyed not only seeing Google Hangout in action, but also hearing how other schools across the country have implemented Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education.
The last session of the day for me was “Apple Configurator (I’ll Be Back)” given by Janine Sears. What with having to manage 120 iPod touches at my own school, I was hoping to learn some “shortcuts!” While we can’t use this right now as it requires iOS X Lion, I understand the district is looking into Lion and may upgrade next year. Fingers crossed! I liked how much simpler this seamed than using iTunes and the ability to “supervise” and assign iPods. We’ve really got to look at our ‘checkout’ policy and use of iPods and make some changes next year.
That wrapped up today – although I am still disappointed I didn’t win the raffel of a Google Chromebook! Maybe tomorrow! I enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces and folks from my PLN.