Daniel Russell – Google Apps For Education New England Summit – Speaker Profile #2

We are excited to host the first ever Google Apps for Education New England Summit here at BHS on November 3 and 4.  The list of speakers has been finalized for the weekend and its is an amazing group that you will not want to miss. 
My second speaker profile of the two mazing keynotes is focused on Daniel Russell Google’s Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness.  Daniel, the  will provide our opening keynote on Sunday morning. He recently conducted an open course for thousands to become better web searchers and his blog SearchResearch is a must read!
Here’s a bit more on Daniel from the Summit’s website:

Daniel Russell is the Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View.  He earned his PhD in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence before he realized that magnifying and understanding human intelligence was his real passion.  Twenty years ago he foreswore AI in favor of HI, and now enjoys teaching, learning, running and music, preferably all in one day.  He worked at Xerox PARC before it was PARC.com, and was in the Advanced Technology Group at Apple where he wrote the first 100 web pages for http://www.Apple.com using SimpleText.  He also worked at IBM and briefly at a startup that developed tablet computers before the iPad.  

His keynote focuses on what it means to be literate in the age of Google – at a time when you can search billions of texts in milliseconds.  Although you might think that “literacy” is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding.  Knowing how to read is just the beginning of it – knowing how to frame a question, pose a query, interpret the texts that you find, organize (and use) the information you discover, and understand your metacognition – these are all critical parts of being literate as well.  In his talk Dan reviews what literacy means today and shows how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead.

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Jaime Casap – Google Apps For Education New England Summit – Speaker Profile #1

We are excited to host the first ever Google Apps for Education New England Summit here at BHS on November 3 and 4.  The list of speakers has been finalized for the weekend and its is an amazing group that you will not want to miss. 
I have decided to quickly profile one of the speakers over the next few days to offer a preview of what is to come.  Kicking things off for us on Saturday with our opening Keynote will be Google’s Senior Education Evangelist Jaime Casap.
Here’s a bit on Jaime from the Summit’s website:

Jaime Casap is the Senior Education Evangelist at Google, Inc. With more than 15 years of technology experience, he is responsible for working with K12 educational institutions and organizations to bring current and future technological innovations into the education environment. Mr. Casap evangelizes the power of technology and the use of Google tools, such as Google Apps and Chromebooks, to help students build the skills needed to succeed, close the digital divide, and help level the playing field. He has worked with hundreds of school systems and states to build the capability to bring Google tools to millions of teachers and students.

Mr. Casap is also a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes in organizational behavior, leadership, and innovation. He serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for New Global Citizens and the Arizona STEM Education Program, and is a member of the Digital Education Council. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Brockport and a Master’s from Arizona State University.

We have been discussing the integration of technology in education for as long as most of us can remember.  In his keynote, Jaime will examine technology’s role in education and why now it’s no longer a question of whether we should integrate technology in education, but rather it is now a question of how we can leverage it to build the skills students will need to compete on a global scale.

You can check out all of the presenters here and the full schedule for the summit here.

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What Can BHS Student Help Desk Do For You?

Originally posted on the BPSEdtech Website:

Do you need instant tech support? Have a quick question about something related to Google Apps? Need a quick fix? Look no further than the BHS Student Help Desk Blog. This blog is quickly evolving into the preeminent resource for all your education technology needs in the Burlington community. And, while we are still building our database of resources, the help desk students will be updating the site daily and continually looking for ways to accommodate all of your education technology needs.

This blog is not strictly limited to education technology resources either. The BHS student help desk is finding and researching current trends in technology. So far students have covered the release of the iPhone 5, iOS 6, Chrome plugins for Math, a Windows 8 preview and Google Underwater Maps. While most travel to sites like TechCrunch and Mashable, the real hard reporting and latest trending topics can simply be found at the BHS Student Help Desk.

The BHS Student Help Desk would also like to hear from you as well. We are seeking out topics to cover and want to continue to build our database with topics generated by teachers and students in the district.  Even if you are outside of the district and just want our help desk to cover something for you, please ask and submit! Anyone can post a suggestion for students to cover below. Please continue to send us topics throughout the year and as they arise. And remember, no topic is too simple to cover. Let us know how we can help you.

At Burlington Public Schools we have the technology and resources to create a shared culture of learning. We can all learn from each other and the student help desk hopes to energize this initiative and share our expertise and make working with technology a painless experience.

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Preparing Our Students For What Is Ahead With Google’s Apps

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
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Thanks to Ryan Bretag for his blog post on using Google Apps with students.  Ryan, an Instructional Technology Coordinator at Glenbrook North High School near Chicago, shared his thoughts on using Google Apps for students along with some interesting data on colleges that are providing Google Apps for their students. As we enter year two as a Google Apps high school and year one utilizing Google Apps with students in grades K-8, I think Ryan’s words are important for all of us to consider. 

While the world of education seems hell-bent on content and skills, it is vital that the other areas are on equal footing such as guaranteed experiences.
One important experience that I strive to guarantee at the school level is immersion into the realm of Google Apps. The reasons for this are many in the area of life: cloud-based living and management, Internet-minded thinkersmaking learning public, globally connected scholars, Google opportunities, etc. 

But I would be remiss not to mention the importance of this guaranteed  experience for students going to college. According to Google, “seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. Universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking) have gone Google”.

For those students that identify college in their future, how valuable is this experience in helping with the transition to college? How beneficial is it making that first year a success and moving them into that critical second year, a move that statistically some say is our best predictor of graduating?

Given these Gone Google numbers in college and a world that is expecting our students to function in life with said tools, I see it as a valuable and beneficial experience for students beyond the normal talk of skills. 

Speaking of Google, we are proud to be the host site for the Google Apps for Education New England Summit November 3 and 4 at Burlington High. This will help us all continue to expand our use of these resources better prepare our students for what is ahead.

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