Monday, September 26, 2011

Reflecting on the Google Geo Teacher Institute

This past weekend was fantastic. I had the opportunity to attend the Google Geo Teacher Institute in Washington, DC. I was surrounded by 50 educators and a variety of experts willing to learn, share, and experience the world through maps. (Yes, that's my first attempt at 3D modeling above!)

Although the "content" of the weekend was geared towards Google Earth and Google Sketch Up, I took away much more.
Every person attending that institute had a passion. A passion that made their work simply a labor of love.

Our institute began with Juan Valdez who shared his life's connection to maps as he immigrated to America during the time of Castro's takeover. Valdez recently finished a stunning new map of Cuba for National Geographic.

It continued with individuals like Jerome Burg, the creator of Google Lit Trips, and Beryl Reid, a super moderler in Sketch Up. These people simply fell in love with creation. The built ideas and projects that touched the lives of many.

Finally, the fellow teachers in my midst exuded passion. They all shared their stories, triumphs, and experiences with technology. Conversations ranged from the practical to the theoretical, and "I love my class" was possibly one of the most popular phrases I heard throughout the weekend.

In short, the experience was an inspiration that recharged my batteries for the Fall season. Thank you to Tina Orduff and Allison McDuffy for their hard work. I was lucky to be there, and I am a stronger educator for it.

Thanks to all!

Check back tomorrow for resources and integration ideas from the sessions.

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