What is a GEG event?
The following describes the characteristics of a GEG event:
An activity that brings educators together.
It is focused around a technology for use in education, including, for example Google-related technology, OR it is an event for educators interested in technology without necessarily having formal technology-related content at the event (i.e., it can be a social meetup or other type of a networking event).
Is free to access.
Is utilizing the power of community, aiming to bring people together and make connections among them. I.e., the more people share and learn together, the better the community is utilized.
The rest is open - whether it's online or offline, happening at the same time or over a time (such as discussion forums), whether it's short or long, etc.
There is no set event for GEGs to run. Anything that engages the community in learning and teaching with technology is great. From organising a coffee with members at a conference to booking out space to get hands-on with tools or even design thinking sprints, any event that fits your needs works.
Don't forget to report any events you run in the Edu Activity App.
What format does a GEG event follow?
As mentioned above, a GEG event can take any format, but the majority of GEG events follow these two most common formats:
Face to face meetups
The GEG leaders organize it, attendees and members come
It's usually based on a technology/education topic, explored in a variety of ways, such as an expert presentation or attendees sharing
Networking and sharing are an integral part of these meetups
10-30 people will be the usual size of the meet-up, with (many) more or fewer people being perfectly acceptable
1-3 events every quarter is the usual frequency.
2. Online activities
Posting GEG news in Google Groups and interacting with GEG members there
Or exploring teacher topics and peer2peer support on various Social Media
Or a variety of once-off synchronous events via Hangout or YouTube Live
GEG Events use Interactions and Sharing
GEG is a community that strives to have people learn from each other. Everyone at the event can learn from not only a speaker or presenter at the event, but also from other attendees. Usually the interactions among visitors and attendees are what brings a great value to people visiting your events. They also form relationships among each other which helps them not just come back to your event to meet the friendly people again, but also for them to possibly do projects and work together, which can be one of the greatest effects of your work.
The sharing and interactions can take several forms:
For events with up to 25 attendees, a quick intro round at the beginning may work. You can think about including some ice-breaking activities.
For events of any size, you can divide the presentation into blocks and end each block with 10 (or so) minute long block for discussion.
Don’t call it just “Any questions?” but say something like “Now we have 10 minutes to hear your experience about the topic XYZ, questions, tips.”
You can even reward the best contributions with swag.
On the end of event of any size, you can make a block of 15-45 minutes called “networking”. Again, don’t say just “And this is the event’s end and if you like to stay, we have some coffee.” Say: “The last part of our event is totally free form so we want to invite you to join us for some coffee and snacks.” Whoever will want to leave can do so anyway.
During this networking, you should ideally be playing the role of a host helping people who don’t know each other talk together.
There are GEGs that also setup “after-parties” where they book several seats in a neighboring pizza place or a bar for people to continue chatting even after that.
Also, facilitate and encourage an open discussion to find out what attendees are looking to get out of and contribute to the GEG. This will be a great inspiration for you to find new topics for your agenda in the future but also to create stronger ties between your community members itself.