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Monday, July 12, 2010

Advice for those attending Google Teacher Academy

This post is part of a requirement for the Google Teacher Academy that I attended. Here's my reflection on my experience and advice for new GTA attendees.

The Google Teacher Academy is taking it's road show to the UK in a couple of weeks. For 50 lucky educators it's going to be a great experience. For those who didn't get in or are just curious about what goes on during a Google Teacher Academy, follow the Twitter hashtag #GTAUK.

Those who are attending GTA, listen up. No really, listen up, don't check your email or your iPhone/Android/ Blackberry during the day. You'll miss something important if you do check those devices. Tweet all you want though. Most importantly, talk to the people that are there with you. I did not do a good job of this during my day at GTA because I was engrossed in trying to churn-out blog posts about what I was learning. I should have tried to write less and connect more. If you got into GTA, you probably already have a pretty good handle on the basics of Google Apps and can, if given the time, on your own discover some hidden gems within Google Apps. What you can't do on your own, is make connections and brainstorm with 50 other really smart educators. So go ahead and play with some of the new technical things you'll learn about Google Apps, but don't let that get in the way of making personal connections. Oh yeah, and don't be late for lunch at Google, it's delicious.

Note, I did make some great connections at GTA, particularly with Kristen Swanson, Tara Seale, and Joyce Valenza, but I could have done more.