The event took place over two days in the amazing Google offices in the Chelsea area of midtown Manhattan. The offices are really awe inspiring and take over an entire city block in the old headquarters of the Port Authority of New York. There are at least 5 restaurants and over 6000 Googlers working in the building!
Google has an ecosystem of partner companies who support their efforts in education, which are basically broken into six categories: Firstly PD (Professional Development) partners, like AppsEvents who deliver high quality training for schools. There are OEM’s – basically the big Chromebook manufacturers (or top recommendation for schools being Acer). Then ISV partners (Independent Software vendors) who make software that integrates with G Suite like Texthelp and Soundtrap. Technology partners such as RM Education help with anything ‘techy’ such as migrations and integrations. Then finally Distributors & Resellers deal with anything related to Chromebook sales. It’s amazing what a global community it is and there were attendees from literally across the globe including many I have had the pleasure for knowing for 5 plus years now.
The conference proper started on Wednesday, and kicked off with an overview of the Global state of Google EDU. I’m still amazed about the numbers: 30 million students and teachers using Google Classroom. 80 million students and teachers using G Suite for Education and 1 billion assignments turned-in on Google Classroom.
Then we were on to breakout sessions for two days. We learned about the Experiences of the NY Department of Education, got a sneak preview of the ‘Google for Education product road-map’ (top secret I wish I could tell you ;)), we had a breakout game (we will be featuring these at our events and are fantastic ways to encourage critical thinking,collaboration, creativity and communication), plus many more sessions.
Dean and Oli from AppsEvents gave attendees a fantastic session and ‘drop-in’ clinic, showing partners how to demo Chromebooks and G Suite and have developed a tool to automate the demo process (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info).
The second day finished in mid-afternoon leaving the AppsEvents team a quick afternoon of sightseeing before heading home. We’re already looking forward to next year!