Saturday, December 5, 2015

Google for Education Certified Innovator Applications Open

Attending the Google Teacher Academy in July 2014 was one of the most transformative experiences in my career as a teacher librarian. I am an admitted conference "junkie," and come away from every conference and workshop I attend energized with new ideas. The Google Teacher Academy, though, allowed me to mingle with and be inspired by 64 other attendees, plus a couple of dozen Googlers and lead learners/organizers, every single one of whom was determined to think outside the box, take risks, stretch themselves, and lead positive change in their home turf. The group energy was truly electrifying! And, it hasn't stopped; we still communicate via social media to exchange ideas.

After over a year's hiatus while the Google team was reconceptualizing the Google Teacher Academies and transforming the title of attendees from "Google Certified Teacher" to "Google for Education Certified Innovator," applications are now open for the next academy. Here's the description on the Google for Education Certified Innovator page of the kind of candidates they are looking for:

"... people who:

  • Are ambassadors for change and empower other educators and students
  • Want to change the world of education by tackling complex opportunities to develop new-to-the-world solutions
  • Already foster a thriving innovation culture within their classrooms, schools and organizations"

That sure sounds to me exactly like what any good teacher librarian does. While I loved mingling with all the other teachers at my academy, I was disappointed that there weren't more librarians there. In fact, there was only one other person working as a school librarian and in the process of earning his credential, and one English teacher working towards a teacher librarian credential. We need more teacher librarians at the next and future academies bringing their unique skills and perspectives to the mix. So .... please apply!

Here are just a few 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!
And, here's why we should have lots of teacher librarians in this next and every cohort:
  • Like I said, don't the characteristics Google is looking for sound like what we know all good teacher librarians should be? 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! 
The deadline for applications is January 11, 2016, and this academy will be held at Google World Headquarters in Mountain View, February 24 - 26, 2016. I was fortunate to have my academy at Google World Headquarters, and the experience of visiting there and observing Google culture alone was an amazing experience.

Check this link for all the information. And, please contact me if I can help you in any way with your application.