Six of our staff attended the GAFE Summit in Christchurch, during the second week of the school holidays.
Michele Rodger (Junior School Representative), Kimberley Fridd, Becky Rapson, Pete McCall, Tom Casey, and Adam Facer, (who are all departmental representatives of the e-Learning group) attended the GAFE Summit a couple of weeks ago.
The teachers enjoyed two days of inspiring keynote speakers, empowering hands-on breakout sessions, and fun activities including a high-energy demo slam. For the breakout sessions, the teachers choose from compelling sessions about the Apps in the G Suite for Education (Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings, YouTube, Classroom, Maps and more) as well as sessions that go beyond the tools that feature cutting edge best practices in educational technology and great teaching.
Here is what the participants had to say about their experiences:
Becky Rapson - I am really appreciative of the opportunity to attend the Google Summit. Spending time with staff who I don't normally network with from John McGlashan opened my eyes to all the amazing things that are already happening within our school that I didn't know about. Then there was the added bonus of meeting amazing teachers from all over New Zealand who had their own great work to share.
Attending the Summit for me highlighted how well McGlashan already works with technology, but it also refreshed my thinking about Google and all its tools, and energised me with lots of 'take homes'. It especially reminded me how we can use technology with students who have learning difficulties to propel their learning.
Kimberley Fridd - It was a very full on two-day schedule, but we were left absolutely buzzing from all of our conference experiences. I loved trying out some new tech tools and developing new platforms in which to enrich my teaching and learning. I was very excited to 'pimp' out my Chrome with loads of new apps and extensions.I have already implemented the use of many of these in my classroom since returning from the Summit, including: Soundtrap, ScreenCastify, GoogleBlack, Mercury Reader, 1-Click-Timer, DF YouTube, Office Editing for Docs Sheets & Slides, and The Great Suspender.
Pete McCall - I found the two days in Christchurch very enlightening. Dealing with digital natives on a daily basis means that I needed to upskill and the Google Summit was definitely the place for that. Specifically, I have added extensions to Chrome that will enable me to utilise internet resources more effectively, organise my time more efficiently and produce more entertaining presentations. Add-ons to some Google programmes will also increase my productivity. It was a great couple of days of professional development but equally important was getting to know some of my colleagues a little better.
Michele Rodger - Of the PD opportunities I have taken part in, the google apps for education summit leads all others, in terms of practical resources that can be used to enhance students' learning and engagement. With a view to equipping our students with the skills to learn successfully, now and in the future, I sought presenters and breakout sessions that focused on differentiation and enabling student independence and control of their learning. Apart form the numerous extensions and add-ons that have streamlined my use of G-Suite, the standout apps that I'm excited about using this year are MyMaps, Sites, and Keep.
Tom Casey - The Recent Google Summit reinforced that what we do in the classroom at JMC is very much in tune with very good current educational practice. Google is a great platform for us to use to assist our teaching practice and there are many new areas I will be looking to build on in the coming term. Google Black Menu, DF Youtube, Google Keep are a few that will be implemented. Overall the two days at the Summit gave a fantastic opportunity to have a look around at how IT in the classroom is being utilised which is great for expanding the ever changing horizon.
Adam Facer - As a member of the maths department a take away for me was learning how to use forms to quickly complete formative assessment and get instant feedback that can be shared with the students. This can be an invaluable way of identifying both struggling students and students in need of extension.