Google Teacher Academy

Google is hosting a Google Teacher Academy on July 28 in Seattle, Washington – yeah for NW Educators!!!  Attending GTA has been one of the best professional development groups I have ever been involved in.  Google Certified Teachers are passionate about networked learning, are willing to share ideas and are a heck of a lot of fun!

Applications are now being accepted for the Google Teacher Academy to be held on July 28 in Seattle, Washington. 50 applicants will be selected. To apply you will need to complete the form found here and submit an original 60 second video about “motivation and learning” or “classroom innovation.”  Applications are due June 16th.  Good luck!

New Google Teacher Academy – August 5th

Google announced:

Google Teacher AcademyApplications are open for our next Google Teacher Academy, which will take place in our Boulder, Colorado office on Wednesday, August 5th. The Google Teacher Academy is a free professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products, which will help you bring communication, collaboration and fun into your classrooms. Teachers will also learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region. Applications are due Friday, July 3rd.

Last year I participated in the Google Teacher Academy at Mountain View, CA.  It’s a super-intensive one-day training on all things Google – but the best part is the very active online learning community to follow up your training.

One of my projects has been a weekly Tech Tip Tuesday along with my fellow GCT, MaryFran Lynch.  We took turns writing the weekly tip and shared them with our faculty and posted them at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

I also have created several presentations about how I use Google in my classroom – check out my collected resources here:  http://sites.google.com/site/colettecassinelli/.

Another one of my projects was an interactive Postcard Geography project using Google Maps:  http://sites.google.com/site/postcardgeography/.

Some people may tease me about drinking the “Google koolaid”, but I don’t care.  The collaborative nature of incorporating Google Apps for education in my classroom this year has been transformative.  I strongly recommend this professional development opportunity for anyone looking for an active personal learning network.

Reflecting back .. looking forward

reflection
Looking back on 2008. 1st photo of 2009/365 Flickr project.

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reflect on growth and accomplishments of the past year.

For me professionally, 2008 brought about the greatest change.  Having the opportunity to present concurrent sessions at ITSC, NCCE and ILC 2008 gave me the opportunity to expand and connect f2f with my personal learning network.  I love sharing what I am doing with my students and get a lot of energy from meeting educators everywhere.

The highlight of the year was attending the Google Teacher Academy in June.  The way the “out-of-towners” connected ahead of time and the camaraderie we developed truly made that experience worthwhile.  The GCT discussion board is one of the more vibrant and best sharing resources out there.  Make sure you apply if there is a GTA in your area.

One of the Google projects that I started with MaryFran Lynch is Tech Tip Tuesday.  Each week MaryFran and I email a simple tech tip about a Google product and share it with our faculty.  We archive all of our tips at http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.  Not only have I learned even more (Google joke) about all things Google, posting the tips each week on this blog has also helped my own blogging this year – about 88 posts this year (not counting Delicious links).

2008 also brought about changes to our family.  My youngest son headed off to Gonzaga this year which left my husband and I as empty nesters – which probably also has a lot of do with the increase in my blogging at the end of this year~  🙂

I look forward to 2009.  I am presenting at NCCE in February, NCEA in April and for the first time – NECC in June.  I am participating in the 2009/365 photo-a-day flickr challenge – which should be a lot of fun.  My husband gets some sabbatical time off this next summer and we are beginning to plan an extended trip around the US.

Thanks to all the readers of this blog.  I learn so much from you each day by reading your blogs and your sharing on Twitter.  Take care!

Happy Blogaversary to me!

One year ago I began blogging at edtech VISION. Previous to that I had only blogged for my Masters of Educational Technology about my Action Research Project for Pepperdine University and occasional posts at Classroom 2.0.

Anyone who knows me will understand that a one-year anniversary is a big deal for me. I’m the queen of startups. I get excited about something new and charge head first full of excitement and energy.

My husband teases me that I have two speeds – fanatic and couch potato. I will begin a new project – whether its a new piece of software to learn or painting a room – and I jump in and completely immerse myself in the project. I will spend hours focused and gleam as much information as I can. My enthusiasm continues for awhile and then slowly the newness wears off and the project turns into “work” and there the project stays. Sometimes half-finished, sometimes done (but not cleaned up – yes, honey I am admitting to the mess I left in the garage) or sometimes i only occasionally pay attention but my heart is not really into it.

This blog almost became victim to my disease. Last Fall I went for almost a month without any postings. I wrote …

It’s not that I haven’t been connected. I am been dutifully reading my Bloglines and occasionally participating in Classroom 2.0 but just haven’t felt inspired to write lately. The truth is the end of the term, grades and personal activities have taken up my time (life? What’s a life?) and I haven’t felt the tug to share.

I also gave myself permission to take off time from this blog during the holidays and around exam time in January.

The thing that I noticed was even though I wasn’t blogging much, I was still connected to my network. I dutifully read postings in my Bloglines account, I added new people in twitter, I began listening to EdTech Talk and participating in the chats.

But the thing that really brought me back to blogging is my need to process what I was reading and reading a post somewhere who wrote in a post to not worry about blogging for an audience, just begin by describing what you do with your students.

So I began blogging about my classroom activities and began to get excited about sharing what I was doing with my students. i focused on the learning that was happening and not just the tools. I used my blog to prepare and promote workshops I was offering at local conferences. I blogged because I was inspired not because I felt like I needed to post something profound.

I am much more of a talker than a writer – but blogging has been a great exercise for me. I love meeting people at conferences who I have been following in Twitter or if I read their blogs. I have a different voice inside my head when I now see their posts and responses.

I love having the opportunity to broaden my personal learning network through the OETC EdTech Cadre, the monthly meetings of the local Catholic school tech teachers and the great folks at Google Teacher Academy.

Blogging for me will never replace these interactions for me – I’m too social. But I do value the quiet time I get to just get my thoughts down and reflect on how much I have shared and learned this past year.

So thank you to everyone who has taken the time to join me in my little corner of the blogosphere. I love having you here and I appreciate more than you will ever know when you take the time to say hi, leave a comment or respond to a twitter plea.

Thank you .. God bless – i can’t wait to see what the next year brings!!!!

Reflections from Google Teacher Academy

I’ve been so busy hosting family this past weekend that I haven’t had a chance to finish my blog post about Google Teacher Academy.

First of all, I must thank Cristin Frodella from Google and the folks from Cue (Mark Wagner and Mike Lawrence), WestEd and all the returning GCTs for hosting this year’s Google Teacher Academy. It was truly a honor to be selected to represent Oregon and private school teachers everywhere at the academy.

I will blog about the new features of the Google tools that were shared …but for now I am just processing the experience.

Another huge thank you goes out to Sallie Hill and Brian Mull for starting the wikis that allowed us “out-of-towners” to virtually meet and make plans to get together. Meeting these fabulous teachers face-to-face made all the difference in my Google Teacher Academy experience. Our local tour guide, the PodPirate himself, organized get togethers the night before the academy (see photo above), that evening and a tour to Monterey Bay Aquarium the next day for those still in town (photos). Having the social time to meet and share ideas with the other GCTs was SO valuable that I recommended that next year’s Academy should encourage it!!!

I was already pretty familiar with many of the Google tools but the critical piece that I was missing was how easy it was to SHARE with others what you make with the tools. Cheryl Davis and Kathleen Ferenz are working on a cool project for the upcoming elections. Did you know that you can take an ENTIRE TAB from you iGoogle home page that you designed with widgets and RSS feeds and SHARE IT with your friends and colleagues???

I had seen Jerome Burg’s Google Lit Trips before and wanted to dive deeper into how he organizes these projects in the classroom but there was just too much to learn so I will explore more on my own.

Try Google 411 by calling 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). Its’ Google new service that allows you to call from your cell phone and ask questions and look for businesses based on zipcode and if your cell phone has Internet, it will also provide maps. http://www.google.com/goog411/index.html#utm_source=us-et-more&utm_medium=et&utm_campaign=GOOG-411

Oh, there is so much more … EVEN MORE!

So, for now I am energize to plan how I will use all these great tools of Google in my classroom and begin working on some professional development for teachers at our school and in my area.

Meanwhile, check out the Google Almanac – created by Google Certified Teachers.