This year, I have been fortunate enough to attend a global technology conference in San Francisco headed by a vendor of OPA’s that has become an integral part of how we use technology at the school, Google. I have been posting live photos and updates from the conference on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but I thought I would also post a daily summary from my 3-day experience.

Day 1:

Opening Keynote

March 8, 9:00 AM–10:30 AM

We Heard from Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet and Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist for Google Cloud Machine Learning and AI and Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. The lineup of executives discussed what Google Cloud offers today and discussed Google Cloud’s vision for the future. Attendees also heard how our customers and partners are embracing the cloud in new and innovative ways.

Transforming company culture with Google+

March 8, 11:50 AM–12:50 PM

In this session, we heard from companies that have used Google+ to drive cultural change within their organizations by sharing ideas, creating Communities and more. Danielle Buckley, Product Lead for Google+, shared insights about new features and how schools can get the most out of using Google+. This sparked a great idea and initiative that I am going to work on in the summer to provide a Company Portal for all the different groups at OPA.

Build powerful custom apps fast with App Maker on G Suite

March 8, 1:50 PM–2:50 PM 

App Maker is G Suite’s low-code app development tool that lets developers like me quickly build and deploy custom apps tailored to their needs. We learned how citizen developers can quickly build apps to automate the small but manual tasks that clog up their day, and how experienced developers can use Apps Script and Google APIs to build even richer functionality.  This was a huge session that filled me with ideas for App Creation Sessions with Teachers and Administration.  A place that teachers and admin can bring ideas to OPA Support and see their ideas become actual applications that help serve a meaningful function in their classroom or department.  
It also sparked a desire to have students start creating apps.  After the session, I was fortunate to have a conversation and exchange information with James Ferreira, Chief Officer of App Maker University.  AMU actually has their own team of teachers that enter classrooms and help middle school and high school students learn how to create applications using App Maker.

Reimagining Education with Technology

March 8, 3:10-4:10 PM

Google envisions a future of education that is collaborative, inspiring, and personalized for every student. In this talk, Google explored the ways that technology can enable this vision, and we heard from educators and school leaders who are harnessing technology to drive measurable impact for learning.

Trends in data security for email

March 8, 4:30-5:30 PM

Email is likely the lifeblood of most organizations, but it can also be a major conduit for security attacks and abuse. How can you keep it safe, and by extension protect your organization? In this session, we discussed the latest developments in email security and shared what Google’s doing to protect all users. We also learn best practices for managing email security in the OPA organization. Many of these best practices are already implemented, but there are many that will be adopted in the upcoming months.  OPA Support will also be implementing a mandatory training session on these practices, so you the staff member can understand the various attack methods, and what to do if you notice them.

Check back for the summary of tomorrow’s sessions!
Andrew Smith
Building & Systems Administrator
Ogden Preparatory Academy


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