That said, the amount of information we received was incredible. There were practical solutions for mundane problems, creative solutions for assessing student performance, solutions for enhancing communication, solutions for giving student and teachers control over their learning environment and the list goes on and on. Mark Wagner reminded us that we most likely felt as if we were drinking out of a fire hose but our group handled the volumes of information with grace.
Our collective and individual epiphanies at #gtadmin were emotional, inspiring, and perhaps can only be matched by a child's excitement having arrived at Disney World for the first time.
Yes, this was a Google sponsored event and yes it focused on Google Apps, but the real take away from the academy is that it wasn't so much about the technology but it was about learning and building relationships. The lead learners, by the way I love that description for the presenters, were as Sir Ken Robinson puts it, "In [their] Element". They love what they do, they love what Google Apps provides for their school family, and they are transforming their schools.
What am I looking forward to? I am anticipating the ongoing conversations with this group of educators. To me, it seemed like the dialog was just getting started when it ended. We need to keep this momentum going. We will need each other when things get difficult, we need to celebrate our schools' successes, and share our failures. We need to discuss authentic assessment, differentiated instruction, the college process, and a multitude of other issues as the face of education continues to evolve.
Finally, a word of thanks to Google, WestEd, Cue, and all of the lead learners for sharing.