by Randy Fairfield, 1/18/17
This past three-day weekend was one of the best weekends of my life! I had the privilege of getting to head down to Roseville, CA and present three sessions at the EdTechTeam Roseville Summit featuring Google for Education. I shared some basics on Drive, Forms, and Chrome, shared and heard some ideas about leveraging the GSuite in Schools looking to support students coming from poverty, and showed my love for the Seahawks and the LinkClump Chrome Extension in a Demo Slam. The presenters with the EdTechTeam were great too! That is, except for Dee (@deelanier), who gave away the score of the Seahawks game. Actually, Dee was pretty cool because he showed me why I should be using Google Photos (which is awesome) at the hotel, so all is forgiven, my friend! This was the fourth annual Summit in Roseville, and you could see that the educators there were open to innovation and eager to try new things in their classrooms. There has clearly been a history of high-quality professional development offered by the team as the Summit was sold out and overbooked.
First off, props to Ken Shelton as he did a fantastic job (@k_shelton) as the lead on the Summit. It’s not easy to organize and MC an amazing event like this, and Ken pulled it off with a smile—all while catering to the very particular coffee preferences of each presenter.
My favorite parts of the Summit were the Demo Slam and the Ignite T(ed)TechTeam Talks. Demo Slams are truly an adrenalin hit for tech geeks. Participants get two minutes to get up there and show off something that the audience will find useful. I love the Slams because you can learn A LOT in a very short amount of time, and they are always very entertaining as well. The Ignite T(ed)TechTeam Talks are incredible as well because they are short, sweet, and motivating! They are basically the Demo Slam equivalent of a keynote. As I type this I am realizing my preference of Demo Slams and Ignite T(ed)TechTeam Talks over full training sessions and keynotes probably means I have ADD. I’ll take a look into it…
… In any event, I think one of the things that impressed me most about the entire event was that it wasn’t just about technology. The presenters really focused on student learning and building relationships, and then backed that up by showing how all of the tools we looked at could support those outcomes. This was particularly evident in Jeff Heil’s (@jheil65) keynote about “Technology, High Expectations and the Art of Relationships”. You could hear the emphases on learning and relationships in each Ignite T(ed)TechTeam Talk as well. Each speaker knocked it out of park, including Chris Betcher (@betchaboy), Dee, Holly Clark (@HollyClarkEdu), Rushton Hurley (@rushtonh), Jim Sill (@mistersill), and Jesse Lubinsky (@jlubinsky). Besides learning some things from the content they shared, I think I learned the most by paying attention to their unique and fantastic presentation styles. Now that the event is over, I can’t wait to lead more presentations and trainings and put some of what I learned into practice.
Besides the great presentations and training sessions, the EdTechTeam also had fantastic authors like Lisa Highfill (@lhighfill) of HyperDocs, Trevor MacKenzie, (@trev_mackenzie), and Kim Meldrum (@MeldrumKim) present and leading sessions. Lisa’s grassroots idea to build a culture of collaboration with TeachersGiveTeachers was perhaps the best thing I saw at the Summit. Overall, this was a fantastic event. If there is ever an EdTechTeam Summit near you, I’d encourage you to attend! They happen pretty frequently all around the world, so make the effort to get to one of them! You are guaranteed to leave a Summit full of inspiration and new ideas.