Reflections on the first annual NexTech Summit Singapore

AppsEvents was privileged to partner with Lee Wilson and the team at Nexus International School in Singapore in February for NexTech, a new kind of event for International School Educators. Long time AppsEvents team member +Sarah Woods was the day 1 keynote and shares her thoughts below.

For a long time, just getting teachers to a point where they felt comfortable using the GSuite of tools has been a huge undertaking. I've had the opportunity to participate in AppsEvents Google Summits in Europe, Africa, and Asia and every single one has offered a wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with educators who are actively trying to take their understanding of how technology can be used to take their teaching to the next level.

But more and more teachers are now comfortable with working in the cloud and the problems they faced with moving their planning and sharing of lessons to an online environment are slowly starting to disappear, leaving them asking, "What's next?"

I discovered the answer to this question a couple of weeks ago in Singapore at an AppsEvents NexTech Summit, where we took the focus off Google products and opened the lens to encompass any technology that might have an influence on education. We had bots, 3D printing, Gamification, and Virtual Learning environments (and more!) - a lot to explore for the wonderful group of educators who participated!

We were lucky to have the environment of the Nexus International School to work in. They have an incredible MakerSpace and an innovative teaching team who's exploring changing the physical structures of classrooms. Their administration is very supportive of their efforts and all around you feel the buzz of a school that's trying lots of different things to see how education can evolve to create more effective learning environments - virtual and physical - for our students.

As a teacher in the classroom every day, there's no question that the GSuite of tools is at the core of what I do. But I'm also excited to see how much the skill level has risen in our teachers that we're now ready to stop playing catchup and start really innovating in our classrooms! I'm looking forward to many more of these events focusing on exposing teachers to lots of new technologies in an environment where they can play, share, and imagine a new kind of learning experience for our students.

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Take part in our 2017 survey of ‘Google use in schools’ and get special early access to the results

After the huge success of our 2016 survey we are delighted to be be compiling our 2017 survey, the most comprehensive survey of Google use in schools worldwide.

Click here to complete the survey it takes about 5 - 10 minutes

As a thank you for completing the survey we will share early access of the results with all respondents, including our analysis of the trends and best practices we note among other schools. Remember that the results will be viewable in aggregate by 'country', 'region' and 'type of school' so you or your school will not be personally identified in any way to anyone.

Here are the results from our 2016 survey


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How to work as a Google trainer

I’m often asked by aspiring Google EDU trainers “How can I work as a Google trainer?” Typically it is educators looking to go beyond just helping their colleagues and to start training externally and to charge for their services. I love welcoming new trainers to the community so am glad to help and I always start with the same question: ”Are you sure you want to do this?”


Do you really LOVE training people on Google tools? Are you someone who will respond the same day to one of your students when they email you a year later with a question? Do you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you see the ‘aha moment’ as someone realizes they can apply something you said? Do you get a geeky excitement when you see a new feature added to G Suite and rush to retweet it? Do you have the free time to train? Are you willing to spend days unpaid and evenings and weekends keeping your skills up to date?


….If the answer to all the above is an enthusiastic ‘Yes’ then read on, you are in the right place! I was one of the first ever Certified Trainers in Europe and it’s genuinely changed my life in the friendships I’ve made, countries I’ve visited and things I’ve learned.


It’s huge huge fun but it’s also really hard work. You’ll travel a lot, sometimes overnight and you’ll go straight from the airport to the school to present. The people you are training don’t care how far you have travelled, they just want amazing instruction. You can make some money as a trainer but there are much easier ways to make money so only do this because you love it.


So here are some high level tips I give to anyone looking to take their Google training to the next level:

Get all your certifications

Certifications are no guarantee of being an amazing trainer but there are a lot of trainers out there and you need your basics covered. Take your Google Educator 1 and 2. Become a ‘Google for Education Certified Trainer’, and finally become a ‘Google Certified Administrator’. Many people miss out the Administrator Certification and it’s a mistake. Imagine you are teaching and someone asks “How do I create users in G Suite?” You can quickly jump into the admin console to show them. You don’t need to be ‘super techy’ but you do need to know enough to be useful and the Admin Certification is achievable for anyone with a bit of preparation. A second benefit if you have an aptitude for it is that there is a bigger demand for admin training and not so many trainers available.


Once you are certified stay up to date with everything, keep track of all your certifications and renew when necessary.

Take any opportunity you can, paid and unpaid

Submit sessions on Google Tools for any Education related conference or summit. Most events will give you a free place for presenting and it’s amazing practice and a great way to broaden your network. Contact any Google Trainer friends you have and ask if you can help them as an unpaid assistant at their training.


Take everything you are offered! Will you fly long distances to present for just one day? The trainers we work with at AppsEvents will jump at it. It’s a global community and of course you can stay local if that suits your life and commitment’s but remember opportunities will be more limited. The more flexible you are the more in demand you will be.


Always keep in mind that there are a LOT of good trainers out there already and the convenient opportunities are easy to fill with trainers that people already work with. The Saturday morning session at a convenient location is probably filled, the one in a more obscure venue at an inconvenient time is hard to fill and that is your opportunity.


Remember that training is a ‘form game’. If for example a school needs a trainer and they call you up for three events and you say ‘no’ each time you’ll start to get lower on their list, so take everything that you can. Remember this: If you are a good trainer people will want to use you, but they need to know you can help with the ‘hard to fill’ sessions.

Sharpen the saw

Always do a ‘feedback form’ after every session and act on all negative feedback. You need to be a perfectionist and thick skinned. I’ve been a trainer now for six years and it still feels terrible when I get a negative feedback comment. Every time I try to analyse “Why did that person not have an amazing experience?” and then act to make sure I improve next time.


It goes without saying you should be up to date on all new features of G Suite and Google tools in general and more importantly their practical application in the classroom. Follow the right people on Twitter and subscribe to all the Google EDU related newsletters.


One of the best ways to get noticed for your training is to establish a niche. Are you a passionate math teacher incorporating G-Suite into your classes? Do you have some amazing mapping projects that you have been blogging about? Have you used Google Apps Scripts to automate administrative tasks? Begin your training sessions with your passion projects and then expand your training repertoire from there. People will remember you as ‘the expert in …..’

Be cool!

As a trainer with no track record or references it’s tough to get paid….You need to take it slow. Train for free as much as you can, then ask for expenses, then ask for a low fee, then increase it. If you read in an online group that you can charge $2500 a day as a novice trainer you will be disappointed. Build up your ‘brand’ as a trainer and your network and treat it as a long term project.


Wherever you train, be it conference or training event at a school, always help out with everything. Offer to help facilitate panels. Stay around at the end to help take signs down. Remember that offering to help with something specific that you see needs to be done is always the most useful. Just saying a general “If you need help just ask me” isn’t much use.  Most importantly keep yourself grounded even after you have become successful as a trainer. I know amazing keynote speakers who are always humble and, for example, stay around to carry bags after the event. It adds a huge amount to how much you want to work with them! Pro tip: The best way to meet attendees at a conference and for them to remember you is to help out on the registration desk.


Always, always go to the networking events at any meetup or conference. If there isn't a networking event then go ahead and organize one yourself on the fly. It is without a doubt the best place to meet people and for them to remember you. It’s the most fun part of any event and often where the real learning takes place.

….and if you’ve gone through all the steps above then get in touch we’d love to hear from you :) Contact veronika (at) appsevents (dotcom)
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