My First Google Summit



My first Google Summit was exciting, enlightening, eventful and inspiring. The two day adventure at Crescent School in Toronto began with a keynote presentation from Jeffery Heil on Technology, High Expectations and the Art of Relationships. Heil spoke so passionately about his students and the connections that he creates to channel positivity and affect change through advocacy. He showed us this video of his former student named Ryan Hudson.

Hudson is a professional snowboarder who represents North Face and is one of the founding spokespeople for an organization called, “Outdoor Outreach.” This group uses the outdoors to inspire youth to see possibility and opportunity in their lives. Heil and Hudson have continued this movement by celebrating the success of the movement from #streets2peaks. This concept centers around to ideals of peace. power. presence. perseverance, and positivity. Hudson grew up in and out of homeless shelters in San Diego, California. With the help of Heil, he was able to defeat the odds and become a successful professional athlete. – Wow!

Take away – “Through bravery and creativity…

…you can change the future.”

Breakout sessions showcased various Google awesomeness!

Most notably in my opinion was the docAppender for Google Forms from William Farbstein. This “Aha Moment” has altered my student portfolio development. Each student works on his/her own document that is shared with the teacher. This document creates a progress log that enables, communication, presentation and assessment in one location. Seamless and effortless evaluations that automatically creates a sheets file as your gradebook. Plus the constant communication and instant feedback that students need to succeed. There are so many different Google Add-ons to discover and explore.

“Teachers need to hand students the reigns… and then chase after them”

– Les MacBeth

Check out Les MacBeth’s post about streamlining feedback.

#Cohort21 Represents

One of the greatest aspects of this Summit was that some of the most notable presenters were also #Cohort21 members/coaches. This impressive and supportive network is wonderfully engaged in the Google community. (Sorry if I missed anyone.)

Jennifer Casa-Todd – Reading in the 21st Century featuring Read & Write Google, Connecting Students to Each other & the world using Google tools

James Trood – My 1st Year with Google, Breakout EDU Session (A highly entertaining version of escape room using technology that can be incorporated into class content – Very Fun!)

Sylvia  Duckworth – Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories with Google Slides, Creating Comics with Bitmojis and Google Slides, Video production with Google Slides, Screencastify, and WeVideo

Final Keynote: Sylvia closed out the #gafesummit with a wonderful reflection of her learning process as a sketchnote artist. She presented the audience with a drawing challenge and showcased that we can all be successful if we put our minds to it. Congratulations on the release of your new book.

Next Steps: 

I am considering becoming a Google Educator Level 1 & 2.

What are the benefits to each and should I complete all three distinctions if my school is not using Google?

Google Educator

Google Trainer

Google Innovator



5 Responses to “My First Google Summit”

  1. Derek Doucet

    Sounds like your first GSuite Summit was a groundbreaker! You’ve got so many great ideas in this post and lots to share with people who weren’t able to make it! I would highly recommend doing the Google Educator levels – @jweening & @lmcbeth inspired me to get my level 2 and the testing was pretty fun!

    I’d love to hear more about how you’re using DocAppender with student portfolios!

  2. Jane Moodey

    Hi Lisa:
    Great post! I too recently attended my first Google summit and have the same sentiments as you. Extremely motivating and inspiring presenters.

  3. Shelley Thomas

    Thank you for this resource-rich post, Lisa. An excellent recap of the Summit.

    As for Google Educator Levels 1 and 2: I say go for it! Might just be the springboard to your Cohort 21 action plan.

  4. Jen


    Sorry for being so late to the conversation but I am binge-catching-up on all of the blogs that I haven’t had a chance to read in the past month. 🙂

    Google Summits are incredible experiences, aren’t they? From the inspiring keynotes to all of those (seems like hundreds!) of “aha” moments throughout the day. No matter how many you’ve attended you’ll always find something new to learn.

    I definitely encourage you to take the Google Certified Educator courses and exams – they are such valuable learning experiences and the focus truly is on the pedagogical applications of the tools in the classroom. Even if your school is not using GSuite for Edu tools, you will still learn something, I’m sure. The only challenge might be if you do not have a GSuite for Edu account, you will not have access to certain tools to practice with for the exam. For example, you won’t have access to Google Classroom – it’s only availble for GSuite for Edu clients.

    What does your school use in terms of technology? Are they thinking of adopting Google tools?

  5. Justin Medved

    @lbettencourt Looking forward to catching up this Friday!

    Just wanted to confirm that this is still your HMW question – “How might we create a “cohort” like sharespace online that would provide teachers with a collaborative website directory to share their technology resources, uses, examples, successes, failing forward growth opportunities and triumphs?”

    would you mind updating this survey to help us prepare for the day


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