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Google Hangouts to Host Education Conference

Google Hangouts is known for being a laid back platform where friends and family can get together and chat with free video calls. Now the platform is lending itself to “Education On Air,” a free online conference for educators.

Google Education on Air runs May 8-9 on Google Hangouts,” reports Frank Smith of EdTechMagazine.

“The event will feature more than 100 sessions led by education leaders and influencers, including keynotes from ‘Reading Rainbow’ host LeVar Burton and educational researcher Michael Fullan, who led the CoSN 2015 keynote in March.”

There is a full schedule listed which includes a panel discussion going over, “What are the skills of the future?” “Inspiring learners with the power of storytelling (LeVar Burton),” “Making the change happen: three tools for better creative problem solving,” “Making work rule,” “Three ways to drive system-wide change” and many more.

While technology is heavily present in classrooms today, Google claims to be using it in a new way that benefits educators who desire to be innovative. Essentially the conference will work as if the educator is attending a workshop and the vast amount of information and resources they’ll have during the conference touches upon every aspect of teaching.

“Early registrants voted on the conference sessions’ themes after the event was announced in March,” reported Smith.

“The top-voted theme was ‘innovating within schools,’ which captured 43 percent of the vote, followed by ‘using Google tools for teamwork,’ which captured 19 percent.”

The focus is on making educators aware of the power they have. Digital learning doesn’t have to be held exclusively by students. Enhanced tech in the classroom or schools who are looking to level the playing field might be able to take away some big keys from the conference.

"Presenters will discuss tools and techniques that you can implement easily, affordably and immediately," according to a Google blog post, as stated in Smith’s article.

"Many sessions highlight how Google tools like Google Apps, Earth, Chromebooks and Android tablets can support learning and help educators save time. Others will relate to themes including collaboration and community, computer science and STEM, creation and creativity, digital citizenship, literacy and professional development."

Educators have an opportunity to up their tech game and overall understanding of the STEM tools that are available to them.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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