Ro & I have had a few “back where we started” moments in our 2.5-year-long EdTech adventures. Our first was being presenters at the EdTechTeam Summit in Las Vegas January of 2016. A year before, we’d driven the 5 hours to Sin City, not knowing how incredibly excited we would be by the end of the weekend and how it would change our lives – for the better. Having the opportunity – and confidence in our skills – to present to other educators just one year later seems surreal to me. However, as fast as EdTech changes, that’s how fast the learning curve is, and if I keep up, there is always so much new goodness to share! And, as I always emphasize with my colleagues, we don’t have to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING … just enough to vet a new platform or app for the appropriateness for our students, and then put it in THEIR hands to figure it out! They are NOT intimidated by a new tool, and many have told me how exciting it is to be able to teach ME how to use it!
Our second exciting re-visit was when our district hosted a second EdTechTeam Summit. One of our goals when we left our first Summit, in Las Vegas, was to bring this fabulous PD to our friends and colleagues in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley. We saw that happen in November of 2015, and with our Summit in November of 2016, we felt a great deal of satisfaction knowing that more and more teachers and administrators would have the opportunity for professional development that matched their needs AT THAT TIME. I’m really sad that due to budget constraints, our third Summit this coming autumn was canceled. We’ll keep seeking out other trainings and hope that others will, too.
And the circle-yet-to-come…. Last July we were accepted to attend the Google Geo Tools Institute (GTI) in Mountain View – at the Google Mothership! We had a great time, learned a lot, and made some enduring friendships. This year, after also being selected to serve on the Google Geo in Education Trainer Network for North America, we have been asked to serve as staff for this year’s GTI event, also in Mountain View. It’s been so exciting seeing the names of friends added to the participant list and we are (well, at least *I* am!) PUMPED to be able to decorate a table for our “team”. I’m having so much fun creating gifties for our comrades. I know we’ll be able to give this year’s group THREE (*WE* only got 2!) days of amazing opportunities to see the benefits of using geography, specifically Google’s geo tools, to enhance instruction in our classrooms – at ALL levels!
And, Mother Google, how I have missed you!