I received an email this week congratulating me on being selected to attend the Sydney Google Teacher Academy in Sydney. I had to re-read the email several times to actually let it sink in that I had been selected. What an opportunity.
What is the Google Teacher Academy (GTA) - pobably best to quote directly from their site
"The GTA is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Produced by CUE, each Academy is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google's free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact." Google in Education
Applying for these opportunities can be rather intense but also very worthwhile. I completed the individual qualification exams (6 exams which comprehensively asses your knowledge of Google Apps for Education). These were certainly challenging but each exam has a training module that if you work through, give you a wealth of information which opens up so many ideas and resources which you can use in the classroom. I'm not an exam lover but the process certainly whet my appetite to explore Google Apps further to see how I could best apply these apps to develop deep learning experiences for the students I work with.
After I completed the exams, my attention turned to the application form accompanied by a 1 minute video. After wrestling with word limits and time restrictions I pressed submit!
My thought processes over the ensuing days as I awaited word of acceptance or other:
- Exams are hard
- If I didn't get in I was so appreciative for the new knowledge of Google Apps which I could apply to teaching immediately
- I need to keep learning as I learn with my students
- If my application was successful, I would bring back amazing resources that I could share with my colleagues and wider teaching community - this is truly exciting
- I love that one of the foci on the application was to take this knowledge back and share it with as many people as possible - spread the love
- I was so appreciative of the support and encouragement from fellow applicants who took time to write encouragement on Twitter and YouTube - what an amazing way to connect
- My husband is an amazing person who wholeheartedly encourages me in everything(including apply for GTA) and who I love having constant discussions about pedagogy, learning, education, philosophy and life with. Thank you Chris Woldhuis ( can recommend following @cwoldhuis on Twitter - an amazing thinker in Education)