On Saturday and Sunday, the Google Summit was held to provide a better understanding of google’s technology and inspire learning teachers to try new, different things. For both days, it started off with a breakfast time for teachers to relax and chat freely. At 8:30, all teachers assembled at the auditorium and google educators talked about the schedule and gave an introduction of the purpose of the google summit. Ken Shelton talked about Bloom’s Taxonomy and although there are many perspectives, I agree with Bloom’s revised version: Create, Evaluate, Analyze, Apply, Understand and Remember. During the transition time in between sessions, I stood in the hallway and guided teachers when they were not sure where to go. In total, there were 4 sessions for each day and to be honest, it was quite chilly and sometimes I was shivering but I think it was worth it as I was able to help a lot of people. For mostly every session, I went in the classrooms/ library to take pictures and I was appalled with the skill of the presenters. They were very confident and explained things very clearly and sometimes added a hint of humor and they talked about what awesome things people can create with google tools such as google docs and google maps.
During lunch breaks, I cleaned the tables as there were coffee spills and sometimes sneaked a few left-over snacks! 😛 On the first day, I went outside to get fresh air and buy a quick lunch and sessions started again at 1:30. After the last session of the 1st day, I attented the Demo Slam. In the auditorium, teachers made presentations and shared knowledge about cool apps/ links etc. However, they were only given 3 minutes each and it was fascinating to see them explain about such important things in a limited amount of time. It was a little funny to see teachers speak hurriedly because of the time limit and the Demo Slam was definitely one of my favourite sessions.
The 2nd day of the google summit was very exciting for me. The morning started off with “Continental Breakfast and Networking” time and the opening keynote was led by Ken Shelton (Google Certified Teacher). After the two morning sessions, Masao and Insun shared their work that used google tools. They presented very well and the teachers were very impressed and interested in their projects. During the lunch break, we ate quickly and started making a slide show video of our favourite snapshots of the Google Summit. We included interviews of teachers and it turned out quite well. However, at about 40 minutes until the end of the closing keynote with Rushton Hurley, Jim Sill (main organizer of the event) came in to check on our video and give advice. We ended up starting the whole thing over again and changed the sound track. To be honest, we (especially Masao) were a little depressed as adjusting the timing of the pictures etc, took a lot of effort and time but we realized that it was a step that we had to take in order to create a better video and we were determined to finish it before the end of the closing keynote, so we can show the video to all of the teachers. We were very limited on time and when it was about 10 minutes until the deadline, we were very stressed out. We got really frustrated when the computer froze and we couldn’t do anything. When the video was finished, it was about 5 minutes until the deadline. However, we had to upload the video onto a USB Stick and we waited breathlessly and stared at the circle which indicated how much of the video was complete. The minutes of sheer panick was unbelievable and Andy’s calm demeanour was just absolutely annoying because I was almost bursting with panick. Ms. Shigeta was also worried and was counting down the minutes until the deadline and tweeting Ms. Lemley. However, our level of panick was nothing compared to Masao’s situation. While counting down, he was exercising in order to run fast and deliver the USB stick and it was just absolutely hilarious. When the uploading was done at last, Andy started checking if the video was the right one etc. and we were literally shouting and when Andy was done, Masao ran to the auditorium and we were all pretty much exhausted after the tight tension in the room.
When it was time for the video to be shown in front of the audience, we were nervous and worried about the quality of the video but in my opinion, it turned out very well considering the time we were given to complete it. After the video ended, we were asked to stand up and the teachers applauded and it felt very good to know that our work was appreciated. For the his keynote, Ken Shelton talked about why technology matters and the advantage of not knowing. If there are 100 choices and you pick a choice, there are 99 other options that you can learn from and explore. He tweeted, “Be Curious!! Ask questions, seek answers!! I call the whole theme of this keynote “Intellectual Curiosity” “. Rushton Hurley summed up the 2-day summit with a few inspirational quotes. “Continue to inspire and be inspired each day” “The only person you ever need to compare yourself with is the you who you were yesterday” I think the teachers enjoyed the Google Summit and it was a fantastic experience. Ms. Shigeta tweeted, “I have to say I LOVE #GOOGLE extensions & add-ons! Changing the way I learn, teach, collaborate, and communicate. Learned at #gafesummit”. Sarah Reynolds (Deputy Head at St. Michael’s International School) tweeted, “#gafesummit feeling empowered, innovative and inspired to drive teaching and learning forward using Google for Education” Finally, I would like to give a huge thank-you to Ms. Lemley for literally everything (letting me help out, being an awesome teacher etc.), Ms. Shigeta for being there when we were in the midst of panicking and supporting us, the teachers who inspired me to be a better learner and of course the members of the tech team (great teamwork guys! :D).