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Google Apps for Education Summit Comes to Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Google Apps for Education Summit Comes to Charlottesville

Posted: Updated: March 17, 2013 11:41 PM EDT

More than 350 educators spent their weekend studying up on how to use Google apps in the classroom.

The worldwide education summit stopped at Charlottesville High School. The two-day Google Apps for Education Virginia Summit wrapped up Sunday with keynote speakers and small group sessions. Educators got technology-savvy tips geared at increasing collaboration and engagement in the classroom.

Ed-Tech team representative Jim Sill travels around the globe to teach educators about Google apps.

"Last week I was in Dubai - United Arab Emirates and a couple weeks before that I was in Japan," Jim Sill said.

On the map this week:  Charlottesville High School.

"One of the things I'm discovering is teachers they think, 'Oh I don't know if I need to do this,' let me tell you I'm meeting teachers from around the world and it's time we start doing it," he said.

Teachers and staff from across the state filled Charlottesville High School to learn about how Google apps can improve their classes. Topics ranged from Google Calendar to Google Plus homework hangouts. Virtual education program administrator Stephanie Carter says social media also played a big part in the conference with teachers tweeting and sharing their thoughts by the minute.

"Google Apps for Education provides our students and teachers with a means of collaborating together so if you imagine a document as sort of a live breathing thing instead of creating version, that's what Google Docs allows you to do so teachers and students can collaborate on, on a paper, on a spreadsheet, on a presentation," she said.

Sill says instant collaboration will change the scope and culture of classrooms.

"We're missing out on a lot of passionate, teachable moments. With these tools we can reach all sorts of different places, that we weren't just reaching with a textbook," he said.

Charlottesville's conference marks the 15th Google Apps Summit.

Carter says teachers have already started putting knowledge from this summit to use.

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