15 November 2014

GAFE Summit Kentucky

A week ago at this time my head was spinning with excitement and overload from all the learning at GAFE Summit in Louisville, Kentucky. Though my teaching now happens one course each semester at the college level (pre-service literacy methods course) rather than full time in K-12 public schools, Kentucky's first Google Apps for Education Summit provided opportunities to connect, learn, and rejuvenate. 3 reasons this is important to me...
  • In my work at a non-profit, we wish to disrupt the normal systems and operations in public schools as we support teachers and leaders because we believe all children deserve opportunities to learn in relevant and meaningful ways.
  • I now spend most of my time working with teachers, and in my desire to stay relevant drives my desire to learn about new technology tools. 
  • You never know when I might just live my dream of opening a Teacher Powered school. 

Creativity, Inspiration, and Excellence: Opening Keynote by Rushton Hurley
Have fun.
Save time.
Make learning meaningful.

The session wasn't about flashy technology but about ways technology can enhance learning, make it meaningful, let you have fun and help you save time. Hurley shared thoughtful, real examples relevant in the academic world. Check out Hurley's resources for ideas about using images and videos with students and competitions for students to create their own videos.

Inspiring Your Staff with Free Technology: Featured Session by Rushton Hurley
Free tools for discussing (though I have used all of these free tools myself, I'm sharing them here in case you haven't, and I'll also say the other tools and ideas about how to use the tools were new to me...)

Ponder: Do you have something happening at your school that makes a memorable experience? What's your story? You have a story to tell!
Free tools for wondering (all except the Google Art Project were new to me)
Ponder: How do you get people to share creative ideas?
Free tools for telling digital stories (all were new to me, and good stuff for use in classrooms)

Free tools for using Chrome

Google Apps in the Classroom to Engage Your Students by Monica Martinez

My favorite take-away from this session was World Wonders, but Monica's link above takes you to her site with a treasure trove of other tech ideas for use in academic classrooms.

My biggest take-away from the entire GAFE Summit experience was about hope--hope for humanity, hope for meaningful learning experiences, and hope that we can make it happen with so much free technology available to us now.

Check out the Storify of the event created by James Allen & check back on my blog for more posts about this fabulous learning experience.