Brief Google Teacher Academy Review

By the way, the Google Teacher Academy in Southern California was another amazing and full day… from literally 8:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night (with the debrief after). Everyone (leaders, presenters, participants, and Googlers) was high energy – and sharing inspiring thinking. The segment I presented (three times in 90 minutes – sheesh) went great and I really enjoyed connecting with so many innovative educators, especially since this time they all live within 90 minutes of me! I’m really appreciating the build-a-community model Google and WestEd have put together.

Incidentally, despite all the “cool tools” and amazing people in attendance the biggest “to do” I took away from the event was to get back into Second Life and check out the new Education Island II. I may even try to make the ISTE social tonight.

Also, the Google philosophy of letting employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their own choice struck me as a wise thing to incorporate into a classroom. How about letting students spend Friday learning whatever they want… with all the resources of the school and their teacher(s) at their disposal?

I have my computer back: Goodbye Google Desktop

I installed the Google Desktop for Mac Beta a few weeks ago. My computer has dragged ever since… really dragged… there was lag switching between apps and windows – and even lag typing sometimes! It took me a while to confidently pin point Google Desktop as the culprit, but in the end it was clear that the background processes were routinely taking up 50% or more of my processing power… to say nothing of the RAM, virtual memory, and harddrive space it consumed. I uninstalled it just now and all seems to be back to normal. I’m usually a fan of cool new Google apps, but this one gets an “F” grade from me this time out. An index is no good to me if it makes my computer frustrating to use. (And this was on my less than 1 year old MacBook with 2 GB of RAM and almost 4 GB of free harddrive space… I can’t imagine what it would do to most school computers.) In any case, I don’t recommend it.

Link: Google Teacher Academy Applications Open for Southern California!

Google Teacher Academy Applications Open for Southern California! (Via CUE News.) Just in case any of my colleagues in the area missed it… be sure to apply! Yes that’s me looking goofy in the picture they are using everywhere… and yes, I’m on the agenda and I’ll be there. I hope to see many of you there – and I’m thrilled the GTA has come to Southern California and can’t wait to be a part of the community it pulls together.

Google News, Groups, and Pages in the Classroom?

This may be too little too late… but is anyone using Google News, Google Groups, or Google Pages with your students? Do you have any specific examples you can share?

If so, let me know ASAP and perhaps they can be included in the next Google Teacher Academy. Even if ideas come in after the fact, I’m sure the materials can be edited for the future.

Thanks in advance!

I should’ve done this days ago… individual emails have gotten me few responses.

UPDATE 02/02/07: It’s not too late. I’m doing revisions this morning…

There’s so much I want to write about!

I’ve been doing a lot of writing this past week (and a lot of face-to-face tech planning and professional development). Some of the writing I’ll be able to share here… sooner or later. I’ve written an article on video games in education, Learning to Game and Gaming to Learn, due out in the May issue of the Classroom Connect Connected Newsletter. It seems I’ll be able to post a pdf of the article here as well. I’ve also been helping to author additional “one-pagers” for the Google Teacher Academies, and I hope these will be available online soon as well (the existing ones are available on the Infinite Thinking Machine Stuff page.). Naturally, I’ve been working on my dissertation, too (I’m working on the formal literature review right now), and I suppose I’ll be able to share that here sooner than later, too.

Meanwhile, since I last posted here I’ve saved another 18 drafts of posts I’d like to get back to. About a year ago I integrated all of my Flickr bookmarks (and all my previous blog posts) into this new blog, so I’d be sharing (and saving) content in one place. Now, though, I’m seriously considering switching back to Flickr (or another social bookmarking service) because there is just too much I want to post – and I seldom have the time for what I consider a full post about it… though I could certainly do short little Dave Winer style posts here. Anyone have an opinion on these two options?

There’s some links to other blogs I definitely want to get up soon, and there’s some reflections on the material I’ve been writing about (in the literature review) I’d like to share – but in the meantime, I can share a link to my latest post at the Infinite Thinking Machine, Creative Commons in Education. I hope I’ve modeled the subject well this time…

Google Notebook and More…

I kept up with reading my feeds last week, even though I wasn’t posting anything here. One thing I noted was the new Google Notebook (Via A New Adventure). I installed the extension for Firefox, but haven’t really started using it yet. It probably won’t be as important for me, actually, as it will be for teachers and students who use often use multiple computers.

Speaking of Google in Education, Mr. Belshaw in the UK posted about The wonders of Google Calendar for teachers (Via, a post that caught my attention because of the first thing I wrote for the ITM, Online Calendars in Schools.

Also on this subject, I was reminded of the Google Apps for Education program (Via Olympic ESD 114 Ed Tech Blog blogs.)

Google Teacher Academy: New York

Google Teacher Academy: New York

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 and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.

NOTE: Only K-12 educators in the New York Tri-State region may attend this event.

‘Nuff said. Sign up, New York Educators!