Recently, I attended the GAFE Summit in Riverton, Wyoming. I will have to admit that attending a professional development conference just as the summer begins did not particularly appeal to me. I didn’t really know much about the conference, only that it would be centered around Google Apps.
I have to say that this was probably the best conference/event that I have ever attended. I came away with so many new ideas that I am still not sure how to implement them all in my classroom.
If you are unfamiliar with the GAFE Summit, Click Here. This link will give you some info on the “who and what” of what takes place at one of these conferences. This is how I would sum it up. Basically, it is a two-day conference packed with top notch sessions on how to use Google Apps in the classroom. These sessions are led by teachers and education professionals that know what they are talking about. I attended sessions by Rushton Hurley, Delaine Johnson, and Jeffery Heil.
Here are a few of the things I learned that I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about:
- I learned how to help students to use Google Draw to draw comic strips. I actually did this with my summer school students this last week, and they loved it.
- I learned how to use Google Forms to create “choose your own adventure stories.” I haven’t tried this one yet, but it is on the docket for later this week.
- I learned how to implement 20% projects in the classroom.
These, of course, are just a few of the highlights. I have several pages of notes on little tricks and tips that I can use in the classroom. After two days of classes, my head was so full it was starting to spin.
Looking at the lineup, there are a bunch of these conferences taking place across the globe, so there should be one near you in the future. I would highly recommend these conferences to anyone who wants to add some new tools to the belt.