Get a taste of the Breakthrough Learning education summit that was held at Google at the end of October. I had the great privilege of attending this historic event and I'm glad to see that the ideas discussed are shared this way with the general public. As a friend noted afterwards, this stuff needs to go viral in the way TEDTalks have.
I've been involved peripherally with Google's education efforts since 2006 as a blogger for the Infinite Thinking Machine and as a Google Certified Teacher. It's been exciting to watch their education initiatives develop, and this event was significant as it indicates that Google plans to continue its role in conversations about education at a national level. The fact that both CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin addressed this audience was not lost on me, and I can't wait to see what develops as a result of this two day convening of people influential in the world of education.
I love education conferences in general, and could soak up the ideas of others forever, so I enjoyed 99% of the speakers at Breakthrough Learning. I was particularly struck by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who apparently really knows education through his involvement with the California State Board of Education and KIPP. He's clearly a brilliant guy who understands that there aren't quick fixes to our nation's educational woes. I also loved NYC principal Jason Levy's story of turning around his school with computers and Google Apps. As one of the few practitioners represented in the speaker line up, his presentation was truly compelling.
Here's the official Google video from day 1. More to come!
Also, check out Esther Wojcicki and Jason Levy in these videos: