Starting as a Leader
Think for a while about what you want to get out of GEG.
Yes, we're all passionate about technology, education, and perhaps changing the world. But what is the specific thing that YOU want to experience in GEG? What will GEG give to YOU? The answer to this question will help you find your best playground in GEG. Perhaps you want to meet new people? Maybe you want to learn new technology? Or you want to increase your personal brand? Maybe get closer to Google? None of these reasons are bad. In your next steps, always try to make sure that while you're helping the education scene in your country and your fellow GEG'ers, you shouldn't forget about why GEG is great for you personally.
Join a GEG!
If there's a GEG that you want to join, great! (if you want to create a GEG, check here for how to do it)
Talk to the key people in the GEG that you'd like to join. It's up to them to decide when and if they want to accept new fellow leaders and they might have good reasons not to accept your offer. Very often though, you'll enroll soon. The GEG people will guide you to the next steps, i.e. will register you with the GEG leaders on various properties etc. Think carefully about which Leadership Role could benefit the group and your own Professional Development.
Talk about your ideas with your GEG co-leaders and let your energy flow! At the same time, be aware that you are joining an existing organism. Spend some time listening and absorbing its culture, people and the things they do. Get involved in events of other leaders, perhaps not as the driving member on the very beginning, to learn how things work in the group.
After some time, you might be ready to throw your own events.
Join the GEG Leader Community.
A great thing on GEG is that you don't just get inspired by the educator's community, but by our fellow GEG Leaders as well. Leaders communicate and collaborate even if they're not from the same GEG to exchange ideas, experiences, suggestions and resources.
Join the Global Community, and the one in your country (if you have one). These can be on Google Groups and/or other Social Media.
Take a look what other GEGs are doing in your city or country and follow their Groups to see what they're doing and get inspired.
Shoot a quick email to Mentors (GEG Leaders who specializes in certain areas of expertise) to intro yourself.
Comment on other people's posts in the Google Groups, offer your ideas, and share your experience.
Get ready for organizing events - YOU can do it!
You can do an event with even low technology experience. You like technology but you are really a beginner only? No problem, you can organize for example a networking meet-up where people will share their experience with certain technology. Or invite a speaker to talk about something you want to learn yourself as well. Or do a hands-on workshop where you all will learn together.
You can do an event even with low event management experience. The power of GEG is in the other Leaders - there'll usually be someone with whom you can team up to throw an event together and who might have experience that you don't quite yet have. Also, there might be people in other GEGs or Mentors who could help with advice, who could shadow you or who could organize the event with you being in a helping and learning role. Start small and slow, build your experience gradually, and within a few months you'll master the key aspects of event management, because it indeed is no rocket science.
You can do an event even for 10 people. Or less. Some of the events you'll do later might be for large amount of people (hold your horses with these events if you're just starting!), but some of them might be just for a few people. As long as people are engaged, inspired, bursting with energy after such a small meetup.... you did well. Similarly, most of you may start by just running events for educators in your school network before expanding your GEG outside of your school network - that is OK too!
You don't have to limit yourself to one type of event. One cool thing on GEG is the variety of possible activities and events that people do. Some of them might be knowledge based, where experienced people and speakers share their know-how. Some of them might be networking based, where teachers interested in technology get together and might not speak about technology at all (...though it's unlikely with our kind of people :)) and the power of the meetup then forms connections and networks, enabling people to do more in their professional lives. Some of the events are more about listening, such as watching a demo about a new educational product or hearing an experienced educator's presentation. Some of the events are more about doing, such as throwing ideas for lesson plans based on a certain sweet technology. You don't even have to do the event face-to-face... use Hangouts! So your event will likely be a combination of all these parameters and just let your creativity - one of the strongest part of any educator - go free. Even wild (...just check with your fellow leaders that it's not too wild, scaring other educators off!). Also, don't forget that you have Event Templates in case you want to use one of those events, and also have the Events Overview Guide which you can check out.
You don't have to be perfect. Yes. Really. We're more about the energy and interactions than about fancy locations, star speakers and the latest hype. Your event can be very down to Earth and if it's not happening in the most perfect location with some superstar speakers - then so what. Remember, you’re just groups of educators who focus on the subject, not on the form. Of course the event shouldn't be a total #fail, but let your fears fly away a bit and just do what you love with others. And from our experience, doing things for others with love - and passion - is what makes the greatest events.
...and then just do it
But you can also do much more in GEG than events!
You can help new leaders and GEGs get up to speed
You can get involved in non-event areas, such as marketing, design, fundraising, partnership building, blog writing, Google Groups maintenance, etc.
You can focus on specific types of events or invest your energy into one major event as opposed to a bunch of smaller events
Etc. etc. GEG is YOUR playground so feel free to throw the toys around as you wish, while bringing teachers and technology together.
None of these steps work unless you have fun, meaning that you really enjoy your GEG time and experience. If you don't enjoy it, just change something; GEG isn't a job, it even isn't a work. It's a something you do out of passion, for fun, and perhaps for the great feeling of doing something extraordinary. Feel free to bring to GEG what makes it enjoyable and fun for you. It's almost certain that it'll make it fun for others - leaders, members and event attendees.