Where is the next network? Google Educator Groups

Google (Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

I am always looking for opportunities to push myself to learn more.  I find that becoming an active member of networks is a great way to do this.  At the very least, it gets me to write and post more material.  The OSSEMOOC is a great example of a network that has motivated me to post.  It’s a little like the ‘publish or perish‘ notion.  If your blog is publicized on other sites, but better keep writing!

Yesterday, I heard about another network that looks like it has potential – Google Educator Groups #GEG.

I took a look at where you can find GEGs and there are none in Canada!  We need to do something about that.

The idea behind the GEGs sounds really interesting.  From their site, GEG leaders benefit in the following ways:

  • Meeting like minded people, breaking the walls of isolation
  • Becoming well connected to people of similar passion
  • Building learning management, event management, communication and organization skills as you hold events.
  • Eligible to attend local GEG Leader summits hosted by Google

This is what is wonderful about social media and education, there are so many great networks that you can join that connects you to other educators.  In the past year I have connected to ECOO (the BIT 2014 Conference), OSSEMOOC, DLMOOC (need to get back to that!), #SAVMP mentorship group via @gcouros, a terrific Edmodo book chat on Digital Leadership through #satchat, Learning Connections – Google + group run through #OCSB as well as a whole host of Twitter chats and Google + discussions.

Every day I learn through these great networks.  At this point, I can’t imagine being an educator and not being connected, my networks are my own personal school.  There are so many great initiatives and ideas out there that I would be totally in the dark without my learning partners.

Even worse, without my personal learning network I would be dependant on professional development delivered in the tradition method through our own district.  This way of learning simply does not work anymore.  We can complain about this or we can do something much more useful – make up your own learning network – get connected – today!

So next, time to get some GEGs into Canada – any volunteers?


First talk today #ecoo13 Amber MacArthur

First talk today #ecoo13

tweets from Amber Mac talk at #ecoo13

  1. #ecoo13 1999: 38M ppl w/ broadband Internet Today: 1.2 B have internet on phones #ocsb
  2. #ecoo13 20,000 education learning apps available on iPads #ocsb
  3. #ecoo13 kids are hardwired to use new devices – iPad, Chromebook etc #ocsb
  4. #ecoo13 1. Believe in the Power of One – United breaks guitars UA then lost $180M video -$150.00 #ocsb
  5. #ecoo13 Authenticity Bravery and Consistency – 2010 Adapt quickly – to win the race first of the ABCs in 2013 #ocsb
  6. #ecoo13 5. Embrace the pivot – Twitter change from ODEO to Twitter started as an internal communication tool, next vine #ocsb
  7. #ecoo13 6. embrace social media storytelling – 50% increase in how much people interact with content if there is a visual attached #ocsb
  8. #ecoo13 7. Protect your privacy – privacy Fix – will tell you where your privacy holes are – think of Facebook #ocsb
  9. #ecoo13 8. Creating Video moments – powerful moments can be captured and shared #ocsb
  10. #ecoo13 9. Lean on your community – using Twitter or other micro community to ask for help! #ocsb
  11. #ecoo13 10. Follow new apps – ex: the human body – blend of learning and play #ocsb – all about discovery
  12. #ecoo13 NFC Technology – allows you to embed chips in your business cards, or vocab treasure hunts #ocsb
  13. #ecoo13 Digital trends – Smart windows – windows and mirrors become interactive screens #ocsb
  14. #ecoo13 Crowdfunding – kickstarter.com just launched in Canada – Kiva a greta one too #ocsc
  15. #ecoo13 Micro video – vine – 6 second video to share #ocsb
  16. #ecoo13 videos – kids teaching kids through Youtube example – MathTV #ocsb

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post #ecoo13 where do we go from here?

  • keep yourself in the role of the learner

  • tell your story: be visible, live out loud, create value, leverage video and social media, reflect and blog 

  • stay connected

  • consider frameworks such as the SAMR model as an ongoing change model 

  • consider the power of students teaching students through video

  • nurture those around you

Mark Carbone, President ECOO



These are all great ways to move forward from this point.  I consider myself very fortunate to have received such great PD over the past six months.  The CASA conference in July, Will Richardson @willrich45 at our Director’s Conference and of course #ECOO13.

I have to thank my superintendent Simone Oliver @SimoneROliver and our IT guru Rob Long @longrwr for giving me these wonderful opportunities!  Now, I need to keep the learning going.

For one thing, I have to go back to lanyard and collect more information from the workshops I attended – I will go back and add this to the posta already up.

Next, what do I do when I return to school?

One idea.  I loved the Minds on Media session.  I had great conversations with teachers and I learned about cool apps

I would like to make the rest of this year a Minds on Media session.  

Our teachers are doing great things every day.  They use Raz Kids, Dream Box, mathletics, Edmodo, Edublog, Kidblog, Blogger.  They use iPads, netbooks and now Chromebooks.  They are doing incredible things all the time.

On top of all that, they work in collaborative teams with teachers from two other schools – they are all involved in really interesting inquiry projects – the first set of projects will be complete by the end of November.

So, this is what I am going to do:

  • make a visual record of the innovative teaching that is going on every day
  • give our staff an audience by posting their work here on this blog
  • create a visual record of the work of our triads – journey with them through their inquiries
  • celebrate, encourage, support, serve and learn from our teachers

This is such a challenging time for teachers – every day they are confronted with some new form of technology.  They are being asked to change their teaching methodology to support an entirely new learning environment.  They are being asked not to deliver information but to create intelligence out of the mass of information our students now have access to.

Has there ever been a more challenging time – I would say no.

So what do I need to do?  See myself as the lead learner in the school and accompany our teachers on the rocky journey to incorporate technology into a new way of teaching – the journey will be rockey because not everything will work – but if you don’t take risks you will never learn, and we are all about learning!

one triad at work - as principal, my role will be to support and accompany them on their learning journey - and of course celebrate!!
one triad at work – as principal, my role will be to support and accompany them on their learning journey – and of course celebrate!!