Has it really been 3 weeks since Google Geo Teachers Institute? I should have written something long ago...I’m working on that.
I got the opportunity to attend the 2017 California Google Geo Teachers Institute (#CAGTI17 ) in Mountain View, to learn about the Google Geo tools and their fit in education. And they fit pretty much everywhere in learning. As someone said “All the world’s most pressing problems have a geospatial component to them” (I think it was Emily Henderson) Some of the tools and ideas we discussed were Google Earth itself, MyMaps, TourBuilder, Streetview, 360 cameras, Expeditions and Cardboard. There were so many sessions and so much information shared, yes info overload. After #CAGTI17 there was a mad hunt at airports for half priced 360 cameras. Other people do a much better job of telling you about the tools, so I will not do that here. You should check out the hash tag for links, or start with Shake Up Learning to get some good details). Good google twitters to follow would be @earthoutreach & @googleearth.
It all started before arriving in Mountain View. A google hangout was created to start getting to know each other and arrange meetups or shared transportation. I met Carla on the airplane from Minneapolis to San Francisco (i think twitter is randomly deleting people I follow because I cannot find her in my “following”). Natahsa ran into us at SFO (randomly walking down the hall to car rental, though she was looking for me). The three of us (Carla had a rental car, thank you Carla) met up with a bunch others at Eureka burger place before heading to hotels/AirBnB for a good nights sleep.
John Bailey was our Google Host and Leader. The dozen “blue shirts” were an awesome bunch of educators who are Google gurus and lead us through our learning (@ellenecurtis , @techfairies2 , @BWhitlowEdTech , @mrpiercEy , @DesignSaunders , @scubagirl812 @DeanPhillipsMT and @crewsertech to mention a few ). They created a fun atmosphere with themed tables (we were assigned a team to begin the days), decorations on the tables, kahoot games with prizes, and voting for best table decorations. I finally met Jaime ( @JChanter22) who lives 45 minutes away in Ohio, and Rola ( @rolat ) who knows Shauna (@misspollock ) in Ottawa. Of course I met more people. There were about 100 educators from around the world and hope we continue discussions via hangout or twitter. It was great to meet, work with, and especially hang out and talk with these people
Big tool takeaways…. Every student should be working/creating with these geo tools , especially Tourbuilder, My Maps, Streetview and Google Earth, at various points in their life. Cardboard and Expeditions have some great possibilities. Every school should have tours of their campuses and buildings put into streetview and My Maps and linked from their websites. We only have one “pale blue dot” and we need to take better care of it, and that starts with understanding it.
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