Over two hundred teachers along with a squad of ‘Googlers,’ a term used by the Ed Tech Team who sponsored the event, converged on ASIJ for a 2-day summit February 9-10. It was a weekend of play, passion and purpose. Over twenty-five different workshops and keynote presentations were offered with participants attending from around Japan and from as far away Indonesia. The Twitter stream (#gafesummit) was testament to the inspiration this event provided both the onsite attendees and the extended community that follow these Google-sponsored education initiatives around the world.
The team of ASIJ staff, faculty and students transformed the high school lobby and library space into a Google-style environment intended to inspire idea-sharing and collaboration. One project that engaged our ASIJ Student Envoys for the event was the Google Post-It installation. Attendees were invited to help create a giant Google logo with Post-It messages about the conference. The students photographed each stage which we then turned into a stop-motion animation for screening on the Sunday afternoon.
It was a fun, creative and collaborative effort by everyone. Grade 11 student, Kyoko Sano who injected her own ideas into the project emailed me about the experience; “It turned out beautiful! Thank you for integrating my moving arrow in the end of the video! I had a very inspiring day today!” Rushton Hurley, Director of Next Vista for Learning and one of the keynote speakers at the event, expressed delight during the conference with how we had made the event a rich experience for everyone involved. He followed up with an email about the Post-It video saying it was further “evidence of the creativity you guys brought to the Summit.”
Hosting the first Tokyo Google Summit definitely provided ASIJ with a great opportunity to showcase our facilities and some of the talented members of our community. At our debrief for the event planning team I asked people to share some of their highlights. Here’s a few things:
“It was the networking for me. My class Forensic blog before the conference had 20 visits – after it was up to 300! Connections you make at things like this can provide opportunities for my students to get ‘real’ feeback for their work.” Brendan Madden, HS Teacher
“Jim Sills [keynote speaker] put ‘tools’ and combined them with ‘visual and media literacy’ content. We have to bring those things together!” Ruth Bender, HS Library
“I loved Rushton’s session. He said ‘You have to fail, and fail, and fail. People think you have to get things right the first time but getting it wrong is how we learn.’ Miki Tromburg, ES Teacher
“Everything!” Erin Wick, MS Teacher
“We talked a lot about media literacy. This is something we should do with all faculty.” Naho Kakuchi, ES Counsellor
“It was an idea melting pot. Such a diversity of backgrounds and interests – huge expertise right here – and people were so generous with sharing their resouces. It made our school look great!” Tracy Reed, ES Teacher
Reporting by Glenda Baker, HS Instructional Technology Coach