Friday, September 26, 2014

Why TLs should apply to attend the next #GTA

I just saw that applications are open for the next U.S. Google Teacher Academy (#GTA). It will be in Austin December 2-3, and the applications are due October 13. Back in August, I wrote about my experience at the #GTA in Mountain View in July. If anything, I am more energized and inspired now than when I left there, as I begin to process and apply ideas I got there. It has also enriched my PLN (personal learning network) with more than 70 wonderful new connections, between the attendees and the organizers. I am, frankly, focusing this post on my Teacher Librarian friends as the audience; I want those of you who haven't yet had this experience to apply and attend. Here's a few reasons why I think you will find it valuable, followed by a few reasons why, if I had my way, the cohort would be flooded with TLs!

Here are just five of what could be many reasons why you'll find attending a Google Teacher Academy valuable:
  • You will see great examples of new and better ways to engage students, and help them explore their passions, learn to solve problems, and prepare for their futures
  • You will become part of a cohort of enthusiastic people you can network with and share ideas with, and, yes, be intimidated, but in a good way, by all their talents
  • You will be infected with Google's "can do" attitudes and teamwork models 
  • You will be inspired to share your new ideas and expertise with your colleagues, PLN, and the world
  • You'll be pushed to be a Moonshot thinker!
The Googlers and other organizers at my academy told us what they are looking for in Google Certified Teachers. They are: 
  • Outstanding educators with a passion for using innovative technologies and approaches to improve teaching and learning, 
  • Creative leaders who understand opportunities and challenges, and have a desire to help empower others in their local community and beyond, 
  • Ambassadors for change who model high expectations, life-long learning, collaboration, equity, and innovation. 
And, here's why we should have lots of teacher librarians in this next and every cohort:
  • Don't those three characteristics above sound exactly like every good teacher librarian you know? Teacher librarians are naturals for this!
  • We need Googlers, the other cohort members, and all our fellow educators to see what we TLs do and how much our expertise contributes to positive change.
  • A big theme of the academy was the value of team work. We teacher librarians are not just leaders, we are also excellent collaborators and team players. 
  • We are experts at spreading the word, both right at home and far and wide, about any new ideas and tools we find valuable. If you love Google like I do, you will learn more about what you love and then share that with the rest of of your TL and educator PLN.
  • You'll love the experience! 
And, don't worry if you don't have a lot of expertise in filmmaking. (A one-minute film is one of the requirements.) I made mine with GoAnimate and just background music, for audio so I didn't have to speak or act. :-)

So, do consider applying to the Austin Google Teacher Academy. Okay? 


  1. Jane, great post! I feel similarly, now that I'm applying ideas learned from GTA! It was inspirational, and sharing our stories helps inspire others, so I'm passing on your post to my TL friend. Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks so much, Natalie, both for commenting and for sharing with your friend.