Digesting what I learned at the Google Teacher Academy will take months. An impressive collection of both Google Certified Trainers and Google staff introduced an immense amount of information in just 2 days. It was mind boggling- especially after 3 plane flights and almost 24 hours of travel! I took copious notes and will be dedicating a series of blogs to teasing out the important information I learned during my time in London. In addition to notes, my goal is to share instructional strategies to inspire other educators who want to incorporate technology into their existing curriculum. The array of awesome Google tools provided free to educators has the potential to transform the way teachers approach instruction…very exciting!
Several themes reoccured throughout the academy:
- Localize learning
- Student/child-centered learning
- Let students lead & don’t be afraid to learn from them
- Choice, freedom & flexibility
- Get rid of rows!
- Reach all students
- Communication & collaboration
- Imagine what students could do with 20% time (like Google Time)
- Pursue your passions
- Think bigger
I walked away from GTA with so much knowledge about Google tools, a network of inspiring educators, and tons of ideas about how I can use technology in my classroom to improve engagement and create student-centered learning opportunities.
The challenge now is to “dream out loud” and create an action plan. I need to decide how I will put what I have learned (and will continue to learn) into action to inspire my students and, hopefully, create positive change on a larger scale. A daunting task for sure, but one that has created a sense of urgency for me personally and professionally. As Mark Wagner said in his address to the group, “With science and the human heart there is no limit.”
I am excited to learn more, grow more and be more. I hope that in doing so I can infuse my students with the same desire to grow and learn.