Among my crazy life of being a mom & wife, a full-time assistant professor, doctoral candidate, webinar presenter, instructional consultant, and regular educational technology conference presenter, this summer I completed my certification for becoming a Google Educator. I went through the tutorials, read the resources, and took five tests on Google Apps for Education including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Sites, Chrome, and Chromebooks. The week before school began Google released Classroom. I immediately wanted to start playing around. We are not a Google School, so I was only able to get a glimpse of Classroom from working with a small group of K12 educators during an inservice day. The topic of my workshop: Flipped Learning. So we jumped into the Classroom together. I fell in love with Google all over again. I continue to explore the tools, the extensions, the way it integrates with other programs, and then disseminate the information to other K12 educators. I play with my Glass and collaborate with others to find meaningful ways to incorporate wearable technology. Well, I was able to convince my supervisor that we needed to create a Google School account so we could learn how to effectively integrate ALL the tools that K12 teachers have access to. Her response, “go for it!” So now I am the administrator of a Google School. I love the challenge of learning the ins and outs of being an administrator.
So what’s next, and why is the title of this post “Google Teacher Academy – Applying to be Part of the Exceptional!” Because one of the other steps I took this summer was to apply for the Google Teacher Academy in Australia. This is a very unique, very special, intensive two day professional development training. Only 50 educators who apply are picked to participate. Once completed, you get a badge of honor, as well as some inside tidbits to what Google is doing. But most of all, you build your Professional Learning Network (PLN). You gain new ideas, insights, and understandings of how other schools around the world are tackling the meaningful integration of technology to support student learning while allowing for effective teaching practices. Unfortunately, I was not accepted to #GTASyd 2014, but that does not stop my enthusiasm! I am once again applying to GTA in London, UK – #GTAUK to be part of the exceptional educators that come together to learn, collaborate, share, and experience global learning. That’s right! I filled out the application form, designed a 1-minute video that highlights my passion for education, and submitted everything, again. I will keep on submitting my application until the reviewers realize just how amazing I truly am. (Yes, I’m bragging, but I believe I have earned that right based on feedback from other amazing educators who have attended my sessions over the years.) If you would like to check out the video portion of my application, here it is.