I have followed the last 3 Google Teacher Academies from afar and as I currently write this the New York event is in full swing. They always sound like positive experiences for all who have been involved and I am very grateful that the work in our school has been featured at both the Chicago and the New York events.
Although I am pleased to see references to the resources and work I have been doing, I’d much prefer the opportunity to talk to fellow teachers about it myself. I would greatly value the opportunity to spend time with 50 other teachers from across the UK and Europe, talking about the powerful tools that Google offers, the ways they impact on learning and the innovative classroom approaches it can open up. Chewing over ideas for the implementation of Google tools to support learning would be a great way to spend a day.
You may ask: why have I not applied for any of the academy events as they accept international teachers? Put simply it is the cost of travel that is completely prohibitive to me or many other teachers even applying. Most schools would (a) not be able to help with the cost of international travel / accommodation and (b) incur more costs due to the extended absence from a classroom.
That is why I am calling on Google to hold a Teacher Academy event in the UK.
A London based event would allow UK and European based teachers the opportunity to gather together and participate by sharing their ideas and experiences of Google tools in the same way our US colleagues have done. In my opinion there is highly innovative practice in the UK with educational technology in the classroom – you only have to look at the TeachMeet events and some of the topics presented.
50 certified trainers in the UK and Europe taking innovative ideas with them back to their schools, districts and counties would help other teachers to begin to better understand Google tools and the potential they have. Admittedly Google tools are not the only thing available, but in my opinion used in the right way they hold a strong place in any classroom toolkit.
I know it sounds like sour grapes but I genuinely think it is time that the innovative work with Google tools by so many UK educators is celebrated, championed and recognised.
Do you think a GTA should be held in the UK? What can I/we do to help bring the Google Teacher Academy to these shores?