Tearing Down the Walls

Today, I participated in one of the most unique and engaging conferences I've ever attended. It was the Google Education on Air virtual conference and the entire conference took place online. There were breakout sessions offered every hour and to attend, participants signed in to their Google+ accounts and requested participation in Google Hangouts with each moderator. Up to 10 people could "hang out" in any one session. But those that couldn't get in, or just wanted to watch from the "sideline", could watch a live stream of each session.

The sessions I attended were fantastic. They were led by (and joined by) passionate educators who love teaching, technology, and Google! I learned so much today and made lots of great contacts!

But more than that, the whole experience got me thinking about what I want to focus on next school year with technology. It was an awesome experience interacting with experts from all over the country, and from as far away as the UK and Dublin! We need to offer that global experience to our students!

With the tools we have at our fingertips, we need to break down the walls that limit who we can collaborate with and who we can present to. Our students (and yours) will welcome the opportunity to work with other students and area experts in any subject area. 

I've pitched this to our elementary teachers and they are equally excited. I asked them to THING BIG! Working on the Rain forest? Let's Skype in to South America! Studying "neighborhoods"? Let's create a presentation with kids from New York City! The sky is limit when there are no walls!

If you want to "play" then let me know and we we'll start having some fun together!

First image from: http://www.widescreen-wallpaper.eu/wallpapers/tearing_down_walls-1280x800.jpg
Second image from Google Education on Air virtual conference. 


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