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“Google I/O is an annual developer conference with inspirational talks, hands-on learning, and a chance to hear more about Google’s latest developer products.”

With an effort to bring Google I/O to different places around the world, there is an “Extended” version of the event with the aim to give participants an overview to what has happened every Google I/O. Google I/O Extended came to the Philippines and has several legs throughout the country. In Cagayan de Oro, it was implemented yesterday, August 1, 2015 and was initiated by the Google Developers Group of Cagayan de Oro.

As usual, in events like this, most participants were I.T. and Computer Science students and teachers/ professors from the city. Some even came from the neighboring cities and municipalities. It was an event that all developers, both striving and professional, look forward to as they learn about what’s new in the technology industry.

So, why did a teacher (a basic education teacher at that) like me, attended the event? It may seem to be a different world for me or some might think that I will be just out-of-place but it did not happen. Why, despite not being I.T. or Computer Science professionals, should we, teachers, attend events like this?

For one, we get to learn about the latest technologies. Technology affects each and one of us, whether we are technology enthusiasts or not and it continues to influence our every day lives. If I did not join Google I/O Extended, I would have not known about the Project Soli yet, a developing technology that allows people to control gadgets using hand gestures. You may find out more about this project here.  On the other hand, Josan Dometita, community manager of Google Developers Group of Cagayan de Oro, demonstrated the use of Myo Gesture Control Armband which is somehow similar to Project Soli. With her demonstration, we get to have a glimpse as to how the technology works when used. Alex De Leon of Google Philippines also talked about Project Jacquard which will revolutionize the textile and garment industry.  On its official site, Project Jacquard is introduced as the “technology that makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms. Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.” You may get to know more about this project here.  Now I can imagine if I can get hold of these technologies and use it in class, I might become the most amazing teacher the students will see.

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A speaker shows some tech stuff during the Google I/O Extend in CDO (Photo by Maia Poblete)-

There is more to technology than what meets the eye. I came to know about Google Cardboard since last year and I really didn’t get to appreciate it until I tried it. IT IS REALLY AWESOME. At one glance, the Cardboard might be a very simple thing, a not-so-sophisticated gadget and it’s something that won’t really stand out in a sea of technology but it really works wonders. Why? Because it provides us the opportunity to explore what we couldn’t experience yet. I would love to bring my students to places that they see in their books. I would love to let them experience the adventures that they see on TV. I would love to let them experience riding a roller coaster. There are so much that students will be able to learn in Virtual Reality. If only I could get hold of Google Cardboard, it will be fun to see my students get awed as to what they see in that tiny little box. More of this here.

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-The youngest participant in the group tried the Google Cardboard (Photo by Josan Dometita)-

There is a need to adapt to technology. In all of my talks during seminars, I always emphasize that our students are digital natives, they are the ones who can easily adapt to technology because they are born in the time where there is an influx of technology coming out. And we, teachers, need to adapt as well because our teaching wouldn’t be relevant if we are not at par with our students. In the event hosted by GDG Cagayan de Oro, majority of the participants and even some of the speakers were students and it’s amazing to hear about all the tech stuff that they themselves talk and know about. I realize that if these students can easily learn about all these things, why can’t we when we are already the catalyst of teaching and learning? It is never too late to learn. We can begin by simply exploring the features of our smartphones, the thing that we already have and use every day. If you need a motivation to do so, try Google Now on Tap and your life will be easier and simpler.

Technology continues to run but it awaits us. We just have to reach it and make the most out of it. Thank you Google I/O Extended and GDG Cagayan de Oro.

 

Thank you to our speakers: Alex de Leon (Google Philippines) for the Keynote, Edmund and Geoff (Webnified) – Cardboard and VR, Neil Torres – Material Design, and Allan Alzula (Webnified) – Polymer. Thank you to the GDG CDO volunteers and to everyone who came to yesterday for the Google I/O Extended – Cagayan de Oro!We are off to Butuan today. We are so excited!#gdg #gdgcdo #io15extended

Posted by Josan Astrid Dometita on Saturday, August 1, 2015

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