Article by: Julie Kang

Google tools have always been an integral part of learning at ISM; students communicate through Gmail, work together on Google Docs, prepare presentations on Google Drive, and now, share ideas through the communities on Google plus. And though all of these tools seem foolproof, as google continues to add new ones every year, it isn’t a surprise that both students and teachers often get lost in the midst of all the new applications. The school nonetheless, has tried to help the teachers fully utilize Google through many different ways, one of which includes the Google Summit.

On Friday September 22, 2014, teachers from all across South-East Asia traveled to Bangkok to participate in the Google Summit;  a conference that would teach educators how to fully use Google as a resource for education. These sessions were lead by Google certified teachers and trainers, featuring the newest Google gadgets and technologies like the Google glasses.

Mr. Cook, coordinator of student faculty learning at ISM who attended the summit last weekend, commented that “it is important for our teachers and administration to understand what Google can do for our school, our classrooms, and our [teachers’] professional lives. Technology changes so rapidly that it is increasingly easy to fall behind. To best support our students in an ever-changing world it is good for us to keep learning and expanding our knowledge with this powerful platform – Google.”

During the summit, trainers talked about the use of regular applications like Google Maps, Google Drive and Google Plus. But there were also discussions regarding unique apps that were created by participants. For example, Mr Venhuis, a high school math teacher at ISM, presented in the summit on coding using Google Scripts to create applications that fit the need of the individual teacher.

Mr. Collett, a computer science teacher at ISM, also attended the summit. He summarized that “[the summit was] an opportunity for us [teachers] to learn more about the tools Google provides and how to use them in classrooms” and that “everyone was talking and learning about Google and thinking of innovative ways to use it to improve learning in their classrooms”. He especially liked learning how to use Google Views, where users can “easily create your own street view tour of anything”. After the summit, Mr. Collett suggested that we should encourage the use of Google + in our school for all classes, clubs or organizations, because it is “quick and easy” to use in terms of spreading information to a wider audience.

Overall, the Google Summit was a fruitful event. Participating teachers did not only learn about the Google Apps, but they also learned about how these apps could serve as tools used to improve learning throughout schools worldwide.

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