Two colleagues and I attended the EdTechTeam Google Summit in Colorado Springs two weeks ago. I had quickly turned into an EdTechTeam groupie after attending my first Summit in Louisville last November. Since then, I have participated in the EdTechTeam Teacher Leader program and taken four different online courses through EdTechTeam. I even started a Master’s program with Grand Canyon University to learn more about technology in education. Every interaction with EdTechTeam has left me inspired and excited; the Colorado Springs Summit was no exception.
The summit opened with a keynote speech from Lisa Thuman inspiring participants to learn and try #OneNewThing. The summit did not disappoint. I learned many new things and am excited to take some of these new things back to my class in a few weeks. With excellent sessions related to hyperdocs, Google classroom, digital badges, passion-based learning, Google MyMaps, as well as three fantastic keynote speeches, my excitement was palpable! I was lucky enough to attend the summit with two giving and ambitious women from my district. One of my coworkers summed up the event on the first morning BEFORE they keynote speech when she said “Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful! Do you think MVS will let us go to another summit?”
I loved the autocrat session with Becky Shorey and am excited to use autoCrat to easily create daily agendas for my class and discipline incident reports for our school. It is even more exciting to think about implementing Classcraft in my freshman and sophomore math classes. Before attending the Classcraft session, I was intimidated by the idea of having a video game element in my classroom. Marissa Spratt had me hooked 5 minutes into her presentation when she talked about what an important part of life gaming is to many people and many of my students. It made me think about my classes which are always excited to play various review games like Jeopardy throughout the year. I am hopeful and confident that gamifying some elements of classroom management can encourage positive learning behavior and discourage negative behavior.
Aside from all the learning that took place during the summit, the best experience was the strengthening of friendships with my coworkers during our time traveling and eating together. It was productive and fun for the kindergarten teacher, high school science teacher and I to share perspectives. We discussed having monthly “Collaboration and Connections” meetings with teachers K-12 to continue sharing and learning from teachers outside our grade-level teams. Our teaching team at Mountain Valley will be stronger because of our experience at the summit!