GAFE Summit: A Must Attend Event

It is day two here in San Jose at the California GAFE (Google Apps For Education) Summit. What a great summit for educators working at schools that have or are about to adopt Google Apps. 

gafesummit

Mark Wagner and team have put together a great event. With 70% of the participants new to Google Apps many of the sessions are focused on getting educators started with a sprinkling of real geekiness for those advance users. Of course being just a few miles away from Google Headquarters gives this summit a little extra something special with keynote from Jaime Casap and Dan Russell. The pressure is definitely on for my keynote next weekend at the Great Plains Google Summit

There’s a couple reasons why I think these events are and will continue to be successful. There are simple things that anyone planning a conference needs to think about.

Size Matters:

The more conferences I attend the more I am loving conferences that are between 400-600 people. It’s such a great size for discussions, for networking and for sessions. When planning your conference think about the size you want. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. A small group of passionate people can do a lot for the culture of a conference. We could have easily expand the Learning 2.0 conference to be much bigger but that was never our purpose. We want a nice group of passionate people to come and learn from each other. For me these are the ultimate size conferences. 

Trained Speakers:

Every speaker at the GAFE Summit is either a Google Certified Teacher or a Google Apps Certified Trainer. If you’re going to run a conference around a specific set of tools why not get people who are passionate about those tools to do the sessions? That’s what the Ed Tech Team has done and it has worked out well.

Keynotes That Know How to Lecture:

See my last blog post. Keynotes go a long way in setting the tone for the day of the conference. If you are going to have a keynote make sure you get a good one. Someone who understands what their job is and is able to make people laugh, cry and motivate them to learn. Or in Dan Russell’s case today, make you realize just how much you still have to learn and then….go learn it. 

 

In the end if you use Google Apps or if your school uses Google Apps or if you are an administrator at a school who uses Google Apps. This is a must attend event for you or some of your teachers. You can check out the GAFEsummit.com website for up and coming summits near you or if there is nothing in your neighbors have your school host one. I for one am looking forward to hopefully attending more summits in the future. When you are surrounded by passionate educators you can’t help but learn something!

(Blogged on a ChromeBook…more on this fun device later!)