10 September 2012

Google Summit Day Two

With a rather fuzzy head really in need of a lie in and a day off from thinking, I head off to day two of Googlicious learning.  My first session of the day is on blogger. I chose this mainly because of the paper blogging project I have been working on with my classes, which is teaching them all the skills they need to blog successfully. Obviously, our next step is to go live and I really want to see how the experience has been for others.

Why Blog With Learners?
The session delivered little about successful blogging, as the leader was in a similar position and it was a new thing for her. I was looking for a way to manage the blogs easily and effectively  but this was barely touched on. In the past, Google Reader was used but they have just moved to Teacher DashBoard - which is an awesome tool I think we really need to get hold of, as I hear nothing but praise for it and how it is changing things. However, thankfully, the Google Reader session yesterday gave me some tips on how to manage them in the meantime.

There was an activity using Google Drawing as an interesting tool to allow collaboration on a topic, sharing and sorting of ideas about why we blog with learners, which I would use in the classroom in the future. I just need the computers in the classroom to be able to implement these tools :P

The second session of the day was quite possibly worth the cost and time of the whole two days by itself. In experimenting with the idea of the flipped model of learning, I have this week started on my first attempts. I made the slides, got the clips etc that I wanted to share then, put it together to record a voice over with instructions etc. I downloaded a trial of Camtasia but I needed to watch some tutorials to get going. Frankly, even though this is where I want to go with my learning tools, I just do not have the time to be watching tutorials. I need something easy, effective and intuitive. I need something ready to go quickly. The Getting Flippy With It workshop was awesome - I learned so much about how to edit and pause and cut clips and share and add music and comments and annotations - FAB! AND all on YouTube. Ed Ted also works with YouTube to help you get flipped quickly. Patrick Green @pgreensoup has a fantastic site with some awesome tutorials on how to get going and more advanced stuff like adding banners to customise your YouTube channel.

The third session gave some ideas about how to create a learning environment using sites, maps, docs etc. Nothing new really though I did like the idea of having, per lesson, a Scribe - or Google Jockey as I refer to them - so every learner has notes, as well as a researcher who answers the questions that arise in the lesson. I also really like the idea of taking the rubric for a project and creating a form that can be shared for peer assessment really easily.

The fourth and final directed workshop is about assessing and scaffolding research skills. Generally a little flat compared to some of the other workshops - could just be because it is a Sunday afternoon though it was a little disappointing to have a final session be so lifeless. There were however, some interesting links that can be incorporated into my extended essay website that I will use so still a useful session in that respect.

The final session is a wrap up in the drama studio about the importance of building a personal learning network. I featured twice - as a Tweeter and a Google+er - PLN is the way forward and these social media tools make it so easy.

It was an amazing conference and I learned so much. I am buzzing with ideas and projects and experiments - I just need our school to go 1:1 as soon as possible to make it happen.

Thank you to SAS, Google, EduTech and all the presenters for allowing this opportunity for sharing learning experiences.