Monday, September 3, 2012

Google Apps for Education Latin America Summit

What a weekend!  I really enjoyed going to the Google Apps for Education Latin America Summit. I found that I didn't take as many notes as I usually do at a conference.  During sessions, I was following along, installing apps, trying out different Google-facilitated educational technology tools.
I did create a Google Site with links to all of the presenters websites and a few notes.  The conference website was very user friendly and having access to all of the presenters material was great. That's number one on the list of positive aspects of the conference, and there is a short list of the areas for improvement.

Positive Aspects:
  1. The conference website was very user friendly and having access to all of the presenters material was great. 
  2. The presenters were knowledgable, friendly and responsive to the audience.
  3. The sessions were active, engaging and provided useful information.
  4. The Slam! I loved the fast-paced demo of so many tools!
Room for Improvement:
  1. At the welcome, keynote session, tell everyone where to find the links to the presenter's websites.  Put up a short link on the screen and tell everyone to bookmark it.  Sessions can start with the meat faster if we have the links in advance.
  2. Organize an introduction session for people who are new to Google. Have a simple session in the first time slot with guidance on creating accounts and the basics (this comment applies to all conferences in which participants will want to use tools actively during sessions). 
My Favorite New Tools:
  1. Pastey - a clipboard for Chrome.
  2. YouTube - I know, what's new about YouTube?  Click on the link to see the  new creation tools linked to YouTube.
  3. Hellosign - This is a great way to reduce paper waste!
  4. Popchrom - This tool allows you to make abbreviations for all the things you type in a Gmail frequently.  You type the abbreviation, and Popchrom inserts the lengthy text.
All in all, a wonderful trip.  I really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues from ASFG better.  I am now an even bigger fan of our Tech Center team.  Now, I just need to convince them we should add a few apps to the students accounts!

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