I recently had the opportunity to attend the Great Plains Summit featuring Google for Education. The Summit was held July 13-14 at Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln, NE. This is an exceptional conference and I highly recommend that you attend--especially if you have never attended the conference. To clear up some misconceptions, this is NOT a conference exclusively for tech coordinators, tech specialists, and tech-savvy teachers. It IS, however, a conference that is focused on teaching and learning, student engagement, and collaboration. Technology is merely a vehicle, or a facilitative means for those elements.
The keynote speaker was Kasey Bell, author of Shake Up Learning and co-contributor to the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast. Kasey also had some great sessions throughout the two day conference. Her topics ranged from Google Tips & Tricks, the latest Chrome extensions, how to become Google Certified, and more. Below are links to Kasey's site, and the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast:
Perhaps the most exciting new technology that was featured was the new Google Earth. The new Google Earth is no longer an app that has to be downloaded and installed--it runs through your web browser (Chrome preferred). One of the greatest features of the new Google Earth is Voyager, where you can take a virtual trip and learn about history, culture, geography, and nature. The new Google Earth even has an Education Resource Center . The possibilities are endless, and I am excited to see how teachers begin to use this in their classrooms.
There was so much excellent information that was presented, and fortunately, you can still look at the Great Plains Summit website. Many of the presenters have links to their slides, handouts, and other materials from their sessions. This is a great way to see what was presented at the conference and begin utilizing it this upcoming school year. Hopefully I will see you at the 2018 Great Plains Summit!
Ben is the Technology Integration Specialist at ESU 4 in Auburn, NE. He is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer.