Reflections on the Google Apps Summit KL

I am sitting in domestic departures in Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport outside Kuala Lumpur, waiting for my flight home to Penang. This marks my 3rd month in Malaysia and the 2nd professional development workshop full of incredibly talented and dedicated teachers. This time it was the Kuala Lumpur Google Summit hosted by ISKL. It was an incredibly rich weekend of learning and it will take some time for me to parse out the lessons learned.

For most of the sessions I stalked either Chris Betcher or Molly Shroeder. They have both created amazing resource sites to support their presentations.

Summit Stuff (Chris’s Site)

Molly’s Resource Site

I also took notes in a Google Doc that was shared with a few colleagues back at school. This proved to be an effective way to share my learning with those that could not attend.

The sessions I attended (and accompanying notes) were:

Rich Media Production in the Cloud – Chris Betcher
Leveraging Google Apps to Manage Content, Communications and Collaboration – ISKL
Assessment in the Digital Age – Molly Shroeder
Explore Your World With Google Geo Tools – Chris Betcher
Google Classroom – Introduction and Best Practices – Molly Shroeder
Experience the World – Google Maps and Cardboard – Molly Shroeder
Tightening the Feedback Cycle – Chris Betcher
Simplify Your Classroom with Google Photos – Geoff Derry

The keynotes and conversation between sessions were equally inspiring. The message of the opening keynote by Molly was that we should be aiming to help students become moonshot thinkers comfortable operating in beta. This was followed by Chris’s next day keynote where he focused on the importance of technology for facilitating 21st Century Learning, and the importance of teachers for ensuring kids learn to do things WELL, not just do them.  His message that we should get out of kids way and let them figure stuff out, but be there to help them do stuff well, resonated with me. Finally, Heather Dowd finished off by using the Choose Your Own Adventure format to present her ideas about what kids need to ‘choose their own adventure’: be flexible; have a growth mindset; be a good person; be creative.

The conference really soldified for me the power of the Google Apps ecosystem. It is not just the power of each App that is convincing, but the way they all talk to each other allows teachers and learners to do things that are truly amazing and mind blowing.

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