Sunday, August 3, 2014

OC GAFE Summit

This weekend, I attended the GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit in Orange County.  I just had my 2nd baby, Nolan, and have been out since May 12th.  I have not been officially working for almost 3 full months.  Yes, I have been on Twitter, I read a book about PBL, and did a small amount of planning, but nothing like I have done the past couple of summers.  This summit was two days of intense training and amazing keynotes.  Talk about getting back into the game!  In my last session, the presenter stated that she believed every teacher should blog and she challenged us to start blogging.  Challenge accepted!!!

This morning's keynote speaker shared her story and the way she's been so innovative in her classroom, which was truly inspiring.  She had her students creating videos, screencasts, music videos, interacting in Google hangouts, writing grants, and so much more.  Talk about authentic engagement and active learning!  At one point, she talked about how excited she was about technology and she would want to share both her enthusiasm and the new technology, but some teachers would literally run away.  I think  that I am a lot like her in this aspect.  I get so excited about technology, but I have to remember that not everyone is as excited as I am.  For example, when I flipped my classroom, I read about an entire high school that flipped and saw some major changes in the percentage of students passing classes. I was sold and suggested we flip our entire middle school.  If a high school in Detroit, MI could do it, why couldn't a middle school in Riverside, CA?  My very wise administrators said no and told me to take baby steps.  Start with one colleague, then go from there.  I am realizing that teaching your colleagues is no different than teaching your class.  The keynote shared this as well.  I really want my colleagues to embrace technology like I have, but I have to remember that they are individuals and need to be invested in order to fully embrace and learn, just like our students!

 She ended the presentation by stating that these innovations did not just magically happen over night.  They took time and there were lots of failures.  She also stated that we should get out there and present.  So, as I drove the Ortega Highway home, I made a goal for myself to present at a conference within a year.  I don't know what I will present or how, which makes me nervous and anxious, but that's my goal.  Hopefully, my name will be in the program of ISTE or CUE or some other conference and I, Ashley Fulmer, will be a presenter!

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