Google Student Summit 2.0 Recap

Where to begin.

So we held our second annual Google Student Summit on November 3rd, 2016. Approximately one hundred grade 5 and 6 students, twelve school teacher leads , six student helpers and six staff presenters participated in a full day of learning G Suite for Education apps, and were also introduced to coding which was super exciting to add to the event this year.

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We were fortunate enough to have Lisa Floyd as a special guest for the day, who offered an interactive keynote introduction for students and staff. We organized it so that students could choose to attend one of two coding sessions offered by Lisa in the morning, where more than half of the students would be able to see her. In the afternoon, all school teacher leads in attendance were provided a session dedicated to a teacher’s perspective on coding, as well as an introduction to Sphero robots.

The positive feedback to the summit was amazing:

Enough said, right? Here’s what students and teachers had to say:

This presentation showed me all the possibilities that are possible for my students when creating presentations. I cannot wait to show this to the rest of my class and to have them begin using it. – Carolyn, grade 6 teacher

I already used google before but after doing summit I just want to use it more! One of my favorite parts was the Google Slides part. I had so much fun learning how to link pictures and slides. I had such a good time, so thank you guys so much.  – J. Zappala, grade 6 student

It was AMAZING I learned so much cool things about coding! – I. Thomas, grade 5 student

It was SOOOOOOOOO FUN!! i learned a lot, like that you don’t have to go to another page to research! it was so cool. – H. MacDonald, grade 5 student

I’ve been to many conferences over the past few years such as Connect, Bring it Together, GAFE Summit, where so much learning and sharing takes place. Taking the idea of these types of days and giving back to our students, who require awareness and training on educational technologies just as much as we do, and seeing the excitement that takes place is the reason why our student summits are the highlight of my year. Planning a day for students co-led by students and staff is such an amazing thing to have to opportunity to be a part of.

I’ve been asked by a few people “what is all involved in planning such a day?“. So here’s a quick overview of the history behind this wonderful idea of a day for students to have.

In the fall of 2014, a colleague and friend of mine Katie Di Biagio brought in the EdTech Team Canada, and they hosted at the time was the first Google Student Summit that they’d ever done. I followed the day on Twitter and followed up with Katie afterwards about the day and decided “heck, I can do that!“. Nothing against the EdTech Team, but being a small Northern Ontario school board, we decided to try it out on our own in the spring of 2015 to keep costs down.

And it was a huge success – so huge, that we are hoping to continue this event annually at NPSCDSB.

Ok so as for the planning, the agenda and workshops that we offered this year are still up on our event page. Since we were new to G Suite at our board last year, I brought in a couple of Google Gurus Joe Sisco and Tom Carroll, two great colleagues and friends of mine. This year, I reached out to some internal staff to help put on our sessions, who undoubtably did not disappoint and were super excited for the opportunity as well.

In terms of logistics, here was my to-do list:

  • Memo to principals
  • Contact high school (where event was located)
    • book necessary technology for the day
    • book rooms
  • Send Parent Letter to Schools
  • Organize sessions, presenters, and student helper team
  • Send Student Registration to teacher leads
  • Print Student cards for lanyards
  • Meet with IT
    • Room setup
    • chromebook and iPad distribution
  • Meet with communication officer
    • media invite
  • Organize photo booth props
  • Create Google Classroom for the day
    • Use topics for session filters
  • Organize travel
    • cabs/bus for school teams to and from event
  • Registration Desk
    • Student helpers setup on Chromebooks
    • Collect consent forms
    • String name tags
  • Make sure each student gets the following:
    • Lisa’s activity handout (coloured)
    • Pencil
  • Order pizza
  • Buy snacks and juice boxes/water

I’ll probably end up writing another blog post on how this event is kickstarting our coding journey at NPSC, as well as more reflections on this event after it settles in, but for now, I hope that those of you who asked for the information above that this is what you were wanting; if not, please comment below and I’ll be more than happy to share any more details.

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