Just Plain Geeky #gafesummit reflection #4

I felt good at the end of Summit, was extremely proud of our team, got my PLN work back in gear, but the icing on the cake of Summit is the pure, unadulterated geek-within that I can let out and celebrate.

The highlights:

Google Extensions.  OMG.  So we’ve run a pretty locked-down domain as we baby-step into GAFE for our district.  I’ve been hesitant to get too deep using my other gmail accounts… it just causes split-personalities, general confusion and frustration.  Am I catinamhaugen or the old, but classic mrshaugensixthgrade… no it’s my chaugen at the district account.  Ugh.

So the tethers have been cut (slightly) and I had the opportunity to use some Google Extensions at the Summit.  The two I’m using right off the bat–Speak Action and Save to Google Drive.  During the SLAM! Megan Ellis (@MeganRoseEllis) shared voice commenting to student writing on Docs.  Those pesky kids don’t actually read your comments… but they’ll listen!  Love it.  And Save to Drive came through a tweet from a session I didn’t even attend–the amazing Twitter at work again.  Anything I’m looking at can be saved to my drive with one click.

Getting Geeky at Google

Getting Geeky at Google

Spending Friday at Google was the height of Geekdom for me.  In the place, soaking it in, more bacon than you could shake a stick at, heated toilet seats, high energy and lots to learn.  I am in love with Google Maps Engine Lite.  I participated in the June MOOC on this and new Maps (just launched, I believe).  That was a great intro to a more solidified understanding after Friday with the Google crew.  Maps Engine Lite is Maps meets Earth meets GAFE share-ability in that you can create a tour, placemark and annotate (no HTML needed), share and collaborate on a Map.  First test.  Created a quick and simple spreadsheet with a couple of addresses I know (surprisingly few in my head), uploaded to GMEL (made that up, is there an official abbreviation?), chose what to mark and how to mark it, Voila’! Those addresses marked beautifully on my map and share-able to others.

So what?  So HUGE!

Picture this: Back to school meeting with staff… I’m making a form for their addresses… they fill it in (goal: what is a form again?), I’m taking the spreadsheet (as a csv file) (goal: yes, Google does spreadsheets) and importing it to the GMEL (cross your fingers it’s launched by then), making some choices, then Voila’! (my word of the day, it seems) and there’s a map of where we all live.

So what?  Again… HUGE!

Our amazing teachers can do this with their students, use the shared map as a sandbox for exploring… use the map as a yearlong repository of activities, field trips, etc… share the map and have kids save it as their own, then they annotate and add independently using all the creativity and individuality they can muster to capture the year.  The possibilities are endless!!!!

So cool.

The Google Art Project.  Where to begin.  You should just check it out.  I see amazing discussions, launching into research and exploration.  Just check it out.

Google Earth… Now the real Google Earth because the Ocean is there!

Loved the quote from Sylvia A. Earle, “You should call Google Earth ‘Google Dirt’. What about the ¾ of the planet that is blue?” from a Google Maps blog post.  Yes, where is the ocean?  Look no further!  And the brilliance at Google has captured a few Ocean Tours to get you started.

Youtube all cleaned up ala @rushtonh

Rushton’s SLAM highlighted editing right within Youtube but even better he shared the moving a Youtube video into a doc to clean up all the distracting videos around it.  So common sense and immediately useful!  I do need to look back through my notes to sort out if it was yet another amazing extension or a setting.  Definitely on my to-do list.

Conclusion:

The time IS now! (on the wall at Sequoia High)

The time IS now! (on the wall at Sequoia High)

The to-do list should just say Get on it, Catina!  So much to try and learn well before sharing with others.  I am comfortable with not knowing every single detail, but the drive to give it all a test run is huge.  Remember, Failure is an option; failure to deliver is not.  Got it.  Thanks @brookhouser, now your Autorap is stuck in my head.  And I overall, I’m super proud of myself.  I’ve gone from low-tech, knowledge-free to fairly high tech, knowledge-rich in a very short time.  I thank folks like Richard Byrne whose blog got me moving forward when I didn’t even know what a blog was, to colleagues like Ginny Mason and Lori Deen who keep me thinking and help me when I’m stuck.  To our school where learning is always the goal and to folks like @edtechteam who bring us all together come hell or low wifi (you had to be there).  Is that even funny?  I’m really giggling.  With that… I should definitely stop.  Heading dangerously close to sappy and loopy.  Bad combo.

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