TeacherSquare On Air

For the past several months I’ve been working on my own initiative, TeacherSquare, exploring various ways that innovative educators can share their expertise and connect with each other, both on and offline, with the goal of co-creating a community to support better (& smarter) technology adoption in classrooms. One of our most successful and engaging events was our August Teacher Tech Talk at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation where Jack West (braincandy), Trenton Goble (MasteryConnect) and Tim Burke (Gooru Learning) shared their strategies on utilizing specific tools to bring formative assessment techniques to the classroom. During this interactive BYOD session participants broke into small groups to share their specific experience and best practices with each other and it was almost impossible to get the groups to stop talking when the event ended.

In thinking about how best to continue that conversation and include others from all over the world, TeacherSquare is talking it’s Tech Talks On Air via Google Hangout. Jack West will be leading our first Tech Talk on Air on Wed, Oct 24th at 7pm (PT) to share his story balancing multiple passions as an educator, edtech blogger and entrepreneur. I’m really excited to extend the energy and reach of TeacherSquare and I hope you’ll join the conversation, help spread the word and/or submit a question in advance.

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Connecting Educators and Edtech

In partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, I hosted my second Teacher Tech Talk event yesterday which focused on how some schools and educators are using Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Rushton Hurley, a member of the first cohort of Google Certified Educators and Founder/ED of NextVista.org, kicked off the event highlighting some of his favorite aspects of GAFE but more importantly shared an inspiring message for how educators should approach integrating technology.

“It is impossible to stay on top of current technology solutions… So don’t worry about it! Find what works best for you and use it in a way that allows you to tap into your inner explorer.”

Kim Brown and Tim Sato from Portola Valley School District shared specifics around how they deployed the Google Engine and Chris Buja from the startup, Hapara (fresh out of Imagine K12,) provided an overview of how their Teacher Dashboard makes it dead-easy for teachers to manage and optimize the GAFE experience across countless students and documents.

If you are interested in learning more about Google Apps for Edu, I recommend checking out the upcoming GAFE Summit July 12/13 in Santa Clara and reading Richard Byrne’s (FreeTech4Teachers) GAFE Guide.

If you are an educator and looking to get plugged into the edtech startup scene, check out the Launch EDU conference June 12-13th at Microsoft in Mountain View. Please email Megan Dickey at megan@launch.co for a free ticket.

Thanks to all who attended and helped spread the word. It has been truly energizing to see the growing interest in this community, and brainstorming ways to bridge the educator and edu startup worlds. Keep an eye out for details for the next Teacher Tech Talk event coming up in July all about Formative Assessments in the Cloud.

Calling All ‘Teacherpreneurs’

I’m excited to be hosting my next Teacher Tech Talk event later this month, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. These events stemmed from my growing interest in bridging the gap between classrooms and the education startup world, and the larger vision is to empower ‘teacherpreneurs,’ who are the ones that will truly drive change in our current education system. Here is the invitation so please help spread the word to any aspiring ‘teacherpreneurs’ you may know!

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Are you an educator interested in learning how to better integrate tech tools into your classroom? Do you have an idea for a fabulous edtech product that you’d like to share with the startup community? Do you just want to connect with other teachers thinking about these questions and edtech in general?

Join us for our next Teacher Tech Talk event on Wednesday, May 30th from 4-6pm in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The vision is to co-create a community of educators and entrepreneurs to collectively design and implement solutions to improve teaching and learning for all students.

This event will focus on Google Apps for Education and will feature Kim Brown, Lead Technology Specialist from Portola Valley School District, and members of the technology start-up, Hapara, (fresh out of Imagine K12) which specializes in deploying Google apps in classrooms and schools.

In addition to hearing from these speakers, you will get a chance to talk about the opportunities and challenges associated with technology tools for education and the issues educators are encountering in the classroom that either need to be addressed or share solutions that can be scaled more broadly.

Hope you can join us! Please RSVP.