Monday, 7 July 2014

GAFESummit 2014


What a busy 2 days of learning and networking (Both physically and in a 'internet' sense). It was brilliant to see what was happening all over the school.

Thank you to all the delegates who attended and a special thanks to all the presenters, both featured and local!

So, in keeping with my '10 things' vibe, here is what I will take from the Summit 2014:

1) YouTube is huge and getting bigger!

Starting with which collates education videos on the regular, to the personal youtube channels and then the video editor Youtube continues to redefine itself as an educational smorgasbord!


One presentation and a demo slam confirmed that the time of IFTTT has arrived. If you haven't explored it now is the time!

This brilliant tool allows a user to create 'receipes' (or just use the ones other people have shared) to manage and maintain the internet of things.

3) Chrome Extensions

Little tools that make life simpler, look around to find the ones you like and make chrome work for you!

My favourites are CheckerPlus for Google Calendar, Docs Quickly, TabCloud (My personal best extension!) and OneTab which come a close second.

Just remember that with the pace of internet development these do change often.

For more extensions for education check out this doc: 50+ Chrome Extensions for Educators
with permission from Jake Duncan

4) Google+

Dee Lanier did a workshop on Google+, and this platform is growing fast. Time to get involved:

Check out Dee's resources on his doc or get involved in the new Google Educators Group South Africa

5) It not about the app!

Many sessions talked to the idea that we need to concentrate on ensuring that our teaching is solid and not based on teaching the app but rather the Child (Adult?). There seems to be a move towards ensuring that the pedagogy is correct before we concentrate on the technology. This will ensure that lessons are designed to stimulate and grow the knowledge and enthusiasm of both teachers and students!

6) Paperless

Not only is the conference paperless (although some felt uncomfortable with this) but Glenn Jones of Western Province Prep School presented a session on using scripts to enhance the paperless classroom. This is definitely a growing trend and it will be interesting to see how teachers adapt to a paperless classroom.

7) Personalisation

The growing trend for people to choose different devices for different uses makes it vital that the 'internet' works for the individual and for each student and teacher. The trend is to customise the experience for each individual and allow them to decide how to make things work for them.

8) Gamification

With badges, both electronic and stickers, handed out throughout the conference, the trend towards gaming the classroom has grown over the past year. Helen Robertson the Content Coordinator at Mindset Network did a great presentation on planning and preparation for the gamified classroom.

9) Custom Searching

One tip I picked up was on how to create a custom search engine for use on a blog or in class. Sean Hampton-Cole, who is Edtech Integrator / Senior Teacher at Crawford College Lonehill, shared a whole bunch of resources for his talk and among them are the instructions to set up a custom search engine

10) The people

Once again, the greatest buzz from #gafesummit was the time I spent talking to and networking with teachers from all over South Africa and the world. Thank you all for coming to Dainfern College and see you next year!

For the lowdown check out