Monday was a day to recuperate. Tired mind, tired feet, tired body. Did I mention tired mind?
But today is Tuesday. A day to reflect, celebrate & build my to-do list!
First off, it’s so amazing to meet new people who are learners just like me! Asking questions, sharing ideas, getting excited about our work and the possibilities… it’s so perfect! I presented more than I ever had before and when you share what you know, it just solidifies the whole situation. Some things I didn’t know as well as I thought or I just couldn’t quite articulate well enough my thinking. Some aspects I could tell made an impact on the attendees: nods, smiles, notes taken, questions later. That feels good. And then the inevitable review of the slides… one had too many pics to see well, one of my circles on a screenshot was not in the right position,… the details can really be a drag, but you know when it’s done well and when it’s not.
The EdTechTeam outdid themselves at this 3rd Annual CA #gafesummit! Gunn High School was a great location. I loved the sea of tables for breakfast and lunch, networking and working, resting your mind or meeting new folks. It was a welcoming central location on a large campus. As usual, they fed us well; can’t go wrong with Panera! And the always popular photo booth!
So what did I learn?
Solidify what I already do before adding more. @mrsfadeji shared a great idea from a session with @ramusallam that lets you email many types of media to a Blogger account that automatically puts the media in your blog. That is so cool! I’m taking a video of students… goes to blog. I take a photo of a teacher… goes to blog. I write a short reflection… goes to blog. But it begs the question: Why? To what end? I’m not throwing out this slick workflow; I like it. But I don’t want to apply a solution to a problem that hasn’t arisen yet. My classroom walkthrough form uses formemailer to send a portion of the notes to the teacher. I love this. But now that Google has switched to add-ons, that’s what I need to focus on–the shift from old-style scripts to add-ons (to-do list item #1).
Attitude is Everything. I realize from my own reflections and feedback from folks around me that my attitude impacts the message I’m trying to convey. Obvious? Yes. But did I know that about myself? Not so much. I see this in others, but hadn’t fully identified myself as an effective messenger in this arena.
In my Get Out of Your Office session, my enthusiasm for leadership (as opposed to management) really hit home for the attendees. Everything I shared is 100% do-able, not uber techy and makes a leader’s life easier. In my Intro to Sites session, I spent the first 30 minutes calming everyone down, showing the icons to reinforce that it all is familiar territory, showing flashy and plain examples to lower the stress and expectations, walking through many screenshots to ensure attendees that these resources will be helpful down the line and everything does not need to be memorized. It was time well spent. And in the latter 30 minutes, we could click around together, model editing, answer questions, demo and talk aesthetics, planning and choices when building a site. My attitude was pivotal to those attendees. And my own reflections.
The #edupressure skyrockets when there are folks in the crowd who I admire and respect. Another no-brainer. But boy did I get extra sweaty!! What could you possibly learn from me? A lot, it turns out. How reassuring that fellow educators that I look to for guidance can turn it around and look to me. You just never know it all. Love that.
People are awesome! Another no-brainer, but I just have to celebrate this part of a #gafesummit. I brought along three teachers from our school, and our district totaled almost 50 attendees!! This included some of my favorite admin colleagues to hang out with which made for an extra fun weekend!
I met up with some fellow #gtamtv gals too! There were six of us at the conferences so we had a brief meet-up at lunch on Sunday. Google Teacher Academy is in 8 days!?!? And one of our cohort, Tara, won Google Glass at Saturday’s raffle. Unbelievable.
Of course, #gafesummit isn’t complete without awesome dinners out with your colleagues, friends and tweeps! I think there’s a special aura around conference attendees (or at least around me) that leads us to the most awesome, delicious, amazing meals EVER for post-conference day dining.
Needless to day, my to-do list has grown, but my enthusiasm for the work has kept pace! I’ve got clear goals, folks to look to for help, a motivated mind and body, and a school year right around the corner in which to put it all to work!