I have had a couple of days to reflect on my experiences at the google teacher academy and have decided at long last to keep a reflective journal. It is not the first time I have considered it; I think that the learning journals that we keep for our youngest children at school contain many things that our children will enjoy looking back at in the future. What has prevented me keeping a reflective blog is the amount of sites that I have on the go already, but this does not have to be (and will not be) a daily diary.
Pre academy preparation
I kept questioning whether I deserved my place, especially as other tweeters that I admire and respect had not been so fortunate. Maybe as a kind of justification I made sure that I completed all of the google apps tests beforehand (something I had started as part of Norfok cloud educators) and tried to get my head atoung google+. Meeting my team mates in my first ever google hangout was a great way to make me feel more at ease before the day.
I was fortunate enough to be able to travel down with Jill Duman, who kindly loaned me a chromebook to play with. Once in London we then met other tweeting friends - Claire and Simon - in the pub, with lots of others joining us very soon. It was great to finally meet so many lovely tweeters and of course the members of team biro.
GTAUK day 1
I had very little sleep the night before (rural living makes city sleeping hard), but I think the excitement kept me going. Or maybe it was the huuge breakfast?! Google food could have a whole post of it's own ...
The first day was a whirlwind and as soon as I realised I was not going to be put on the spot or made to do something unachievable I started to relax. Unlike many of my British friends, I have no problem whooping - or 'hurrahing' as we had decided. There were many times when I felt like doing so and some truly jaw-dropping moments.
My magic moments included the google hangout with the amazing (and very young) Jeff Harris, Lisa's search (sexy Snape?! lol!), Dana's 'slams' and Tom Barrett's maps. I loved the way that Zoe used sites on an Olympic theme (definitely nicking that idea) and I could listen to Jim Still's voice forever. The passion of all the people who made up the google team was inspirational.
GTAUK day 2
Aside from my growing list of things to review, learn and play with, day 2 brought more opportunities to network with other people. I had already got to know some of the members of my team a little better and had some great conversations with others in the pub the night before. Day two allowed me to spend a little more time playing with Tom's maps, to attend then politely leave a scripting session (way above my tired brain at that point!) and to find out what projects other people are doing.
I have no clear idea as yet what I am going to do next, so have not ventured near my action plan. I do know that I am going to do the following:
- Make some maths / history / storytelling maps
- Share everything I have learned with colleagues at school
- Make my existing google sites a bit more whizzy
- Follow up on all the websites, links and ideas that I have learned
- Make a QR codes quiz trail
- Explore Mark Allen's method of report writing
- Create a youtube channel for the digital leader network
- Make more use of youtube than I do already
- Make sure that my colleagues at school start to save time by using google docs and forms
There are far too many people who inspired me during the two days to mention, but I cannot end without thanking Zoe Ross for being an amazing team leader, Jill Duman and Jo Badge for their kind loans of the internet and a chrome book and Simon for organising a great first night. What an experience! No wonder I spent Friday in a post gtauk daze!
I think (hope) I only made one faux pas whilst there. Hearing the name 'Ollie Bray' in reception made 'Oooh! Ollie Bray!' pop out of my mouth, which was met with an uncomfortable silence from those around me. Well, what can you say to that really?!
If google did evening wear ... yes, it's a google apron and I like it! I even managed to convince some weary, newly 'badged' certified teachers that I had baked the cupcakes ... Slam!