Sync or Swim Blog Series #2

Spotlighting the Best Marinnovations in Education
By Michael Leifer, CEO Guerilla PR / Ecodads

On October 18th and 19th, Google will be coming to town with the Ed Tech Team for the Marin County Ed Tech Summit hosted by Mt. Tamalpais High School.

Google is by no means the ONLY player in the space, BUT they are a very important one.

This two day high-intensity program features Google in Education Experts, Innovative Educators, Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, teachers, and solution providers as well as access to world-class education technology leaders.  These groups will share their best practices, success stories, classroom management learnings and experiences using Google Apps.  They will also discuss and demonstrate how these apps and tools can be easily integrated into any school’s learning management system, and show how they can be accessed by any student computer, laptop or mobile device (like an iPad) through Wi-Fi.

Mark Wagner, CEO & President of the Ed Tech Team, put forth that, “We need to bring everyone along on this journey before the gap gets any wider!” He also offered, “Technology and exploration not only complement each other; they are one in the same!”

What sets the Marin Google Ed Tech Team Summit apart from others?

Chris Bell, COO of the Ed Tech Team, boasts: “We have compiled a group of world class presenters” that make up over 50% of the sessions to ensure the highest quality sessions around. Mix in a great combination of local talent, and participants walk away with their minds blown and inspired to make real change in their classrooms. Ed Tech Team makes sure that there is a list of experts and innovation specialists to help lead teachers down the pathways of impactful integration.

Between sessions there is a break that allows for networking, sharing of ideas, the chance to pick the brain of a favorite presenter, and the creation of relationships that often lead to life-long friendships.

Anyone interested in learning some of the most innovative new tools being used to promote K-12 and high education learning may attend this nominal fee-based event.

The Summit Sessions include three keynote presentations, a demo slam competition, and a closing capstone session – plus two full days of informative breakouts, cutting-edge demonstrations, and hands-on workshops led by experienced and knowledgeable professional developers and shall include:

  • Deployment & Management of Google Apps
  • Google Apps Scripts
  • Google Apps for Education Certification
  • Chromebooks in Education
  • Android and Google Play in Education
  • Google Maps and Earth Across The Curriculum
  • YouTube for Schools
  • Google Glass for Learning
  • Google Plus for Personal Learning Networks
  • 20% Time for Students and Educators
  • Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Gmail power tips, and… even more!
  • All presenters are Google for Education Certified Innovators, Google for Education Certified Trainers, Google Employees, or teachers with local success stories!

The three keynote presentations will be given by:

Michael Wacker, Chief Learning Officer, EdTechTeam, who is a former elementary teacher, and has since served as Online Learning Specialist on the student and adult learning side, where his experience has included designing and facilitating teacher and administrator professional development online courses and workshops.

Lisa Highfill, the K-12 Instructional Technology Coach for the Pleasanton Unified, has a passion for innovative learning strategies and actively works to share and collaborate with teachers, parents, and community members in order to improve the quality of education.

Donnie Piercey, Google in EDU, Teacher Advisory Board Member, who works in a hybrid role as a fifth grade teacher and district technology integration specialist for Eminence Independent Schools in Kentucky, and is always trying to find new and innovative ways to incorporate technology across the curriculum in order to increase student learning and engagement.

The spotlight speakers for the program are:

Sergio Villegas, who has been working in education for 6 years during which he was classically trained as a high school science teacher in the Napa Valley, and currently works for NapaLearns, a Non-Profit company dedicated to promoting innovative instruction and technology.

Amy Fadeji is the principal of Penngrove Elementary in Petaluma, California, and in her third year as principal, she has found herself reaching out to educators across the country to build a growing network of innovative and inspiring colleagues.

Victoria Olsen is a grade 3/4 teacher and technology coach at West Langley Elementary in Langley, British Columbia and also co-founded #bcedchat, EdCamp35, and the EdTech Mentorship Network to increase networking between BC educators and to enrich the focus on professional development within the province.

If you’re interested in providing a Scholarship for a Teacher or Group of Teachers to attend the event, please contact Christine Archer (

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