Google Teacher Academy was an extraordinary experience that marks a turning point for me -one that has been coming for a long time. I have been a technology evangelist almost since my entry into the world of ed-tech, but somehow, the Google experience has knocked me off my feet to another level altogether. I think it was a combination of the expectations I had, the people, the energy, the massive amount of front-loaded information, the food (LOL).
The experience started the night before (Wed) when I met Jennifer Wagner aka Technospud, at my husband’s office in Costa Mesa. She left her car and we drove north to Marina Del Rey, where Jen had secured a hotel room for two nights. Jen kindly offered to share the room, which was very generous of her, and it sure made the experience easier and more fun.
The whole day was a whirlwind of learning and activity, beginning with an official escort to the day’s homebase, where we set our stuff down and were served fruit, coffee, bagels and sweet rolls. One thing I will say for sure about Google is that they go to great lengths to keep their employees comfortable, well fed, and happy.
I learned so much from so many that I can’t begin to write it all now, but I will write about all of it here and elsewhere in the weeks and months to come. Another brilliant thing the Google academy does, is require its participants to do PD using the information learned, and to have a personal PD plan for the future.
Maybe the most relevant thing about this is experience was the realization that there is so much more that I need to be doing to change the world. -Yes, I said change the world. Isn’t that what all educators want?
Whatever made me think that learning, and realizing the truth of the tech-ed situation in my school and district, and working hard to affect some positive change, would make one whit of difference? I don’t know, but I still believe, and so I will go down fighting the good fight, and if I’m good enough, and smart enough, and lucky enough, I will make a difference for some of the children I teach.
I fully expect that I will not only utilize the wonderful tools I learned about, but more importantly, that I will help foster new growth and relationships within the GCT community as well. The GCTs are a remarkable group of educators to say the least! AND, I was able to meet two SL friends for real! Macsmom Alcott -Jennifer Wagner, and Apophone Singh –Hall Davidson from the C.A.V.E. and Discovery Education.
If my continuing ed-tech journey is populated by such awesome people, and learning experiences, I will be a very happy camper indeed!