Glenwood Community School District is hosting a Google Apps for Education Summit July 15-16.
The summit, which is co-sponsored by the school district and the Green Hills Area Education Agency, will bring southwest Iowa educators together to discuss using Google and Google apps in teaching and technology curriculum.
The conference will feature two keynote speakers, Alan November and Joseph Du Fore, as well as several other sessions highlighting the use of Google apps in education. November is a nationally known leader in education technology and Du Fore is the director of digital education at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Du Fore is also partnering with Glenwood on its professional development.
Seminar topics will include “Getting Geeky with Google Sites,” “Google Docs and Presentations,” “Google Earth,” “Chromebooks - The Whole Story,” “Bring Your Classroom into 21st Century with Google Apps!,” “Hidden Google Treasures,” “Use of Google Groups,” “Map Mania!,” “Doctopus and Goobric” and “Google’s Vision for Education.”
The southwest Iowa summit came about as a result of conversations Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray had with the internet giant on a visit to the Mountain View, Calif., headquarters last December. In conversations with the Green Hills AEA, it was decided the two would partner on the conference.
“We (school district and AEA) sort of approached each other mutually about the possibility of putting on a southwest Iowa technology conference we could center around Google,” Embray said. “We’re heading straight toward Google in our district.”
The Glenwood Community School District began a partnership with Google last fall and will launch its own Google Chromebook program this coming school year. The district plans several education summits of its own for the program that will provide laptops for take-home use to all sixth through 12th graders and for third through fifth graders for in-classroom use in the Glenwood School District. Kindergarten through second graders will use digital tablets in the classroom.
The Glenwood Google summit won’t be specifically targeting Glenwood’s Chromebook program, but it will deal with the Chrome operating system and its many educational applications, Embray said.
“Chrome can be used on any device,” Embray said. “It’s a browser you can download for free and have access to all the Google things you need. It’s not device driven. It’s more of a software application, and that’s the spin we’re putting on it.”
Embray hopes the summit will aid both his and his staff’s understanding of technology as the district begins an unprecedented leap into the digital age.
“We hope those attending learn some new applications they may not have known before, feel a little more comfortable using the Google apps for education and the things they can do with technology and students in the classroom,” Embray said. “We want to provide our staff with as many opportunities as possible to get comfortable and confident with technology.”
Glenwood and Green Hills AEA are splitting the $12,000 costs for the summit. Most of the expenses, Embray said, will be covered by entry fees. Nearly 300 attendees have already signed up to attend.
The cost to attend the conference is $75 in advance and $125 the day of the event.