Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reflections from the GAFE Summit

While there's buzz about the Google Apps Summit - please share your learnings with your colleagues.

What did you learn about at the GAFE Summit? - and How might you use this with your students?

What ideas might you like to share with others?  and What would you like to learn about now? 

Please comment on this post to add your thoughts.


  1. I am really impressed with the YouTube enhancements - especially YouTube Editor. YouTube has essentially become an editing suite. I could see enormous potential for students to create video footage by drawing together personal clips or other creative commons material.

    I terms of creativity I think the collaborative power of students being able to create collaboratively in these online spaces is extremely influential for formulating new ideas and for creating new digital products easily.

    I'd be really interested to work with other teachers to understand the intricacies of YouTube Editor and to play around with it. Anyone interested??

  2. What Hapara is doing blew my head off. (figuratively) Have a Blackboard-type of platform that is connected to Google is awesome. (admittedly a few things under construction, but more good stuff coming down the pipes)

    I like the ability of teachers to access files through simply mousing over the link, having the opportunity to collaborate/ give feedback so seamlessly, as well as monitor activity in real time. (ie) monitor what they have open n their browsers during class time.

    I'm going to be exploring this more. The maps session by Jim gave me a lot of ideas. I'm much more interested in exploring Maps now.

    I was thrilled with the positive response to the Sites session; people were slightly challenged with Blogger, but a good group that I imagine will follow through with their PLB.

    Wicked awesome. Thanks to the organizing team. I'm inspired to apply for GCT.

  3. I am planning on doing a quick multiple choice quiz on Wednesday and am just now putting together a Google Form which is integrated with a Google spreadsheet that will calculate all the scores for me instantly. This was one of the skills I learned from the conference. Once I have it set up, I will tell you how it went!

  4. I'm already using some of the ideas I got from the weekend. I had students create a collaborative map in GMaps to go along with the journals that they write. I'll also have them do a tour on GEarth to add to that later.
    I also got my feet wet with scripts, which will take a lot more learning to figure out to use them.
    David N

  5. I was impressed with the new YouTube editing tools and since we already have a number of screen casts we've uploaded to YouTube, I'm going to create a Channel and some playlists for the HS library so students can find them all in one place. I also liked the Google scripts -- although some of that flew over my head. There are some already available that you can import into your form to help you generate grades for a quiz. I also learned how to format my Google site for an iPhone. Linda

  6. I, too, thought that the video editor in YouTube had great potential, and was amazed at the possibility of creating branching videos with a variety of endings. I think students will find that irresistible.

    The introductory session on Forms was also very useful for me, being an absolute beginner using it. I'm wondering how flexible an app it is for quizzes (Can it be used to randomize questions? In the session I attended, I was told probably not) and possibilities for giving immediate feedback to students. I'm putting together a quiz on Forms right now for my Grade 5 Japanese class, to see how it goes.

  7. I got so much more clear about what I need to learn, along with getting the bigger picture of how much is available. It was great to see so many educators excited about learning and challenging ourselves. I'm definitely going to be relying on my more experienced colleagues, but at least I know now what I need to ask. The presenters were excellent for the most part, and they were great about fielding basic questions, in addition to those from teachers who are super tech-savvy. I've created my first form, am getting my docs, email, drive, and twitter in order! Hoping for the quick after school MAC/Google Express sessions to continue- they are so very helpful. Thanks to everyone who helped to pull this off!

  8. The Teacher Dashboard looked like a really cool management system: I"m a little concerned that it does not have the potential to disrupt what we do, and yet I'd be keen to give it a try to see if it doesn't help us all 'digitize' in a very simple, manageable way. YIS seems to accomplish this via Google Sites, though it would appear to take a lot more work on the part of teachers and tech facilitators: Teacher Dashboard might be a 'quick' way of making a lot of progress.

    Like Paul, I was super impressed with the YouTube enhancements: One can now create quite interesting video directly in YouTube. Too bad there is no voice over feature.

    Like some colleagues above, I jumped into using Google Docs more efficiently today: Some of the ideas that came out were very good -- and inspired me to re-look at things I do. Heck, I even liked the incidental learning - such as Boomerang for Gmail!

  9. I have already made one form and shared it with my team for feedback and am in the process of creating another one. I never knew it was so easy. Thanks to Glenda for teaching me that! Then, from Ruth and Ritu I learned how to create a video in YouTube, which I never thought I'd do, but it's so easy and have already started putting together some student clips that I had planned to do in IMovie, but am now just going to do on YouTube so I can share with the parents! Lastly, I'm thinking about starting to use Google Calendar. I would like to be able to hear from the other ASIJ presenters whose sessions sound super useful and educational: Nate on GoogleSites, Dave on going paperless, and Tracey and Dan on Digital Citizenship.

  10. I got a lot of ideas and inspiration from the various workshops, and one of the first things I would like to do is create Google Sites for my classes to share images of student work via PicasaWeb albums and link to course documents, forms and resources (including the amazing Google Art Project!). I want to transfer the info I have on Blackboard onto Sites and then stop using Blackboard.

    It would be great if we could transition to an all-Google Apps system schoolwide like YIS has--publishing events and meetings to shared calendars and using calendar invites so each person doesn't have to transfer info from emails to their own calendars individually, using shared folders in Drive to turn in assignments paperlessly, having school documents accessible as Google Docs organized through an Intranet Google Site (several schools in attendance said they do that). Things could be done so much more efficiently, and it would be simpler to standardize where everyone's info can be found and how it can be accessed--right now it seems like everyone is using something different, and it could be streamlined.

  11. There was so much useful information being flung about during the summit. I am now a fan of 'safe mode' in YouTube which completely eliminates all comments beneath videos. This is a great option for elementary school teachers because it stops any chance a kid will read expletives. I like and have added the Google Chrome YTO extension for YouTube which stops all advertising and removes recommendation videos. I LOVED exploring the Google Art Project and can't believe I had not heard of it until this weekend. How could something so magnificent not yet enjoy the same global fame as Gangnam Style? I am eager to explore the Hapara teacher dashboard as I can see benefits ranging from ease of differentiation to greater efficiency in checking which students have done what work. I want to learn more about Google Maps. I want to hear Ritu and Ruth's presentation because I missed it and everyone is raving about it. I also want to glean some of the gems from the Google search workshop because I missed that too. Any chance we can hear some of these ideas presented on a PACT day?

  12. I have to agree wholeheartedly with Tracey on this one. Jim Sill's presentation was very engaging and as soon as he mentioned you could turn off the comments always found at the bottom of video's made my day!

    Also enjoyed the presentation from team hapara. They way they have set up a platform and managed to organize students in a very neat, concise, and user friendly way had me hooked right from the start. My only critical point with Google Drive is that I never have time to organize all my documents....not any more. I am sold. When can we get it ASIJ?

  13. A few ideas summarize what I walked away with from the Google Summit:

    I was very impressed with the keynotes, particularly with Rushton Hurley- he seems to have a good grip on how tech applications can foster connections with and between students.

    It was also clear that the skills of creating quality video production are essential for MS students to express themselves.

    The intro to Youtube from Jim Sill and the follow up from Ruth and Ritu was awesome and I have been making videos from class content ever since- STOP ME!

    I enjoyed Wendy's app onslaught on day 1 and have already begun to use some of her suggestions in my classes namely ideas for connecting outside of ASIJ like Skype in the Classroom and PolarTREC. In Science 8, we use Google Earth to explore the moon and sky- Mike shared his presentation with me and I applied some new strategies today. I have been trying to find a system that works with my different subject areas so that it makes sense for me and my students- and it turns out that I can use a lot of the same Google tools in more effective ways than I was before.

    Finally, I so appreciated the creative approach to the conference (videos, artwork, sticky note installation, photo booth) which made the experience so much more enjoyable than your average PD. Well done to all of you who worked so hard! Kampai!

  14. My biggest take-home from the Google Summit was the emphasis on visual literacy through art and video analysis and production. Jim Sills ( convinced me that the YouTube and the are powerful classroom tools that can't be ignored.

    I also picked up a few classroom management ideas that I hope to incorporate. First, I liked the idea of kids creating a shared folder in their Google Drive and sharing it with both the teacher and their parents. This way parents can have easy access to the Google Documents students produce, improving communication. For example, kids can produce a piece of work in a Google Document that includes a place for self-reflection, teacher comments, and parent comments. Another idea from YIS is to have students accountable for writing their homework down in their own Google calendars. This is a division wide expectation in the MS at YIS, and I like the consistency of that expectation. Several speakers touched on the idea of using a collaborative model for note taking during class. While this isn't a new idea, the Google tools make it much more practical.

  15. I found the Summit a helpful overview of not only Google apps, but a total immersion into the digital language and thinking.
    The presenters inspired me to expand my thinking on how computers and apps can and will be used in education.
    From the Chris Smith session on Google forms I came away with a Parent/Tch/LS meeting form that I used today. Nice touches we learned for adding colour graphics (especially for early learners).
    I will continue to listen and attend any ASIJ sessions offered by my computer literate colleagues and appreciate the time they give to us for professional development.

  16. This was one of those conferences where you walk away with much more than you first thought possible. I wasn't sure how much information I would find applicable to me but I came away full of ideas including the use of google forms and sites. I also enjoyed the presentation by Hapara. This seems like the missing piece that is needed for organizing students/classes using google docs--goodbye long list of docs/folders and hello to a dashboard interface that has amazing connective features. However, in the meantime, if you haven't already started using the grid view on google drive, give it a whirl by setting up some color coded folders and your doc list will be more manageable.
    Sarah gave an outstanding presentation on ePortfolios using google sites and I'd love to start tinkering with an ePortfolio for my grade level. Anyone else interested? Let's do it! I think google sites would work well for creating PK-12 digital portfolios of student work as proposed in the strategic plan.
    It would be good to consider repeating some of these presentations from our excellent ASIJ faculty as time and interest allows. I couldn't make it to all of them...
    Thanks to all who helped organize and run the summit. Excellent edibles too!

  17. This summit inspired me with lots of great ideas. Like many people, I was impressed with Jim Sill's Youtube presentation. I learned how to use Youtube effectively in classroom, and found tons of useful resources in his website. It would be great if I can have a dashboard like Hapara which takes care of setting up part from us.

    I was particularly happy to attend the power of project session by Rab Paterson. He provided me a model how to put all the 21st century skills together using Google site, which I would like to try in my HS Japanese Advanced courses. I shared this idea with my Chinese colleague and we are already planning together!

    Thank you so much for everyone who organized and presented at the summit.

    Machiko Naito

  18. I attended the first session with Hapara and immediately went into "gimme, gimme, gimme" mode. Teacher Dashboard looks like a great organizing tool, and I really want the feature that allows snapshots of each student laptop screen on the teachers machine, both for ease of keeping kids on task, sharing websites or resources directly by pushing them to student machines, and the ability to watch students if they are taking assessments on their laptops. I hope to follow up with this in the near future.

    Lots of great tips and presentations during this conference. I loved the "Slam" session: great tips and tricks, and loved hearing the crowd go "ooohhhhh" several times.

    Kim Cofino's organizational session was awesome, and pointed out to me how un-organized I am. Any chance we can hire her away from YIS and get her to organize us? (okay, I mean me ;-)

    Jim Sill's Youtube was great and I echo Vera's comment above about following up by collaborating and sharing some of this as it begins to be used -- would love talk more with everyone about projects, uses, etc. in the near future. PACT day sessions????????

    Great job putting this together folks!

  19. It has been a wonderful opportunity to get an overview of what we can do with Google apps. It was particularly helpful to see how those apps can be implemented into school wide curriculums by attending Kim Cofino's presentation. Thanks also for the session by Kaori and Linda, our colleagues. I could begin to get a grip on how to make a homepage. I immediately started to use the functions Makiko, again our colleague, taught us about Google Calendar. She was wonderful! I look forward to learning from Nate about Google Site in one of the PACT days. I thank all the pople who organized this event for giving us these meaningful opportunities.

  20. I really enjoyed the sessions with Jim Sill. Lots of good practical tips on the use of You Tube and ways to create videos and edit them as well. I plan on incorporating You Tube Editor into the Intro to Film class this semester. I also attended a few sessions that grabbed my attention on how to use drive, forms, calendar, and docs to help with organization in the office and in the classroom. Lots of great PD throughout the weekend.