Friday, December 19, 2008

What about Google?

Google has been in the outreach to educator mode since 2007, by training 50 educators per session using the train the trainer model. Each training session, called a Google Teacher Academy, is offered for 50 educators and now over 250 educators have been Google trained. Educators must apply by answering a few questions, with a limited number of characters in the response and a 60 second video explaining how they provide "Motivation and Learning" OR "Classroom Innovation". By training educators with Google tools and then asking them to pay it forward with other educators Google is able to spread their tools and ideas around the globe. Currently, the Google Academy has only been held in the USA, but during the last Academy, educators were accepted from outside the USA.

You may all know Google by the Google browser on the Internet, but did you know that Google is also a popular email option, calendar option, blog option, office suite option and more!
You need to know and understand 3 things about Google:
1. Google has free applications online which are part of the ReadWriteWeb, also known as Web 2.0 tools.
2. Google can afford to keep these applications free to consumers by the advertising you see on their search pages.
3. Google is on the cutting edge with various applications and a sense of an all in one suite. Everyone knows Google, oh you mean the search with the cool graphics, gmail, yes! There is even more if you dig deep on the Google Applications pages.

On November 18, 2008, I was one of 50 educators accepted to attend Google Teachers' academy in NYC. I was thrilled to be accepted and represent my school district and my State. I was also pleased to be in the company of Alice Barr, of Yarmouth High School and Sarah Sutter of Wiscassett High School. Once we arrived in NYC we were joined by another Maine educator, Kern Kelley of Nokomis Middle School, who now is a Google Trainer, along with his full time job at Nokomis Middle School. Mainers should be proud that our state is well represented with educators who are using web tools in innovative and collaborative ways.

As part of our acceptance in the Google Teachers Academy, each educator follows a plan to pay it forward and offer training to others not only locally but in some form of a collaborative project.

One activity that I am excited about is a community project to be offered at Wells Public Library in two sessions during January and February 2009. The activity Google goes Viral! is a presentation, for all levels of experience, with some hands on offerings during class. There will be a followup class after the first session in order that people may try out the different Google applications during the week and then come back to the followup session to learn some more about using the different Google applications.

You will leave the session, Google going Viral! with knowledge about :

* creating a gmail account
* calendar sharing
* creating a google document for sharing
* Website for personal use as well as sharing

Stay tuned throughout the year for more Google information!

Resources: Kern Kelley

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