Google Teacher Academy UK?

Swim the Atlantic...
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?

London to NYC: Swim the Atlantic…

19 thoughts on “Google Teacher Academy UK?

  1. I think Google should also allow Canadian participants to be part the the GTA. I have not seen anything in this country about GTA being offered in Canada.

    Hope you have success Tom

  2. Hear Hear!

    Without question there is excellent practice going on in the UK and around Europe that Google would be able to hold aloft as a beacon of good practice.

    GoogleUK should sit up and take notice of how their excellent tools are being used in schools by teachers and students and present those users with an opportunity to earn acknowledgement for their endeavours.

  3. Yes, I certainly agree, a GTA for the UK would be a great idea. I did the the training at the the GooglePlex this year. It was great to work with so many fantastic teachers, and learn about the power of using Google tools in Education. Well worth doing.
    Cheers. Darren Murphy GCT London.

  4. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
    I’m confident Google have a pretty good awareness of how popular and influential their tools are with learners and teachers at classroom and, increasingly, thanks to google apps for education, school level. I’m also fairly confident that they recognize that these are the levels that matter, irrespective of authority wide or system wide policies.

  5. Yes you should have one! I am in the GTA right now and it is even more of a shift in my thinking than I was prepared for.

    I think if you email them and if others do, they will.

    Good Luck

  6. It’s about time that we started getting noticed for some of the excellent practice going on in UK schools. Count me in also.

  7. I agree, Tom! You and other teachers in the UK offer priceless resources and deserve a GTA!! Although we share and bond through virtual channels, nothing compares to a “real life” meeting with your PLN!

  8. Get that running and then Google should look to spread itself internationally as well – Australasia, South Africa, China (;-0) and so on – there is a model from Intel that seems to be all over the globe. Google needs to move on from its US centric beginnings and realise that the most innovative educational practices are beyond the bounds of North America. Although I am surprised to hear that Canadians are not involved already.

  9. Hear Hear – I’ve been spam e-mailing them to pester the GTA into coming over – I’ll DEFINITELY be there if they do!

  10. Tom,
    I will do all in my power to beg Google to s t r e t c h themselves over the Atlantic for a Google Teacher Academy. It has TRANSFORMED my work and my life! I was lucky enough to go to the mothership in Mountain View CA in June for my certification and facilitate in Chicago. So, I HAPPILY volunteer to assist with the UK edition!!!
    Your Friend in St. Louis, MO USA,
    Cindy Lane, GCT ’08

  11. I’ve eyed up the GTA for a while now. I’d love to attend. I think even a Scottish GTA would quickly sell out 🙂

  12. Hi Tom
    In regards to your fascination with Google apps ( I too have a similar inclination) did you know that the New South Wales Department of Education in Australia are about to migrate their entire student email system to Gmail and also take advantage of google apps.,130061733,339292814,00.htm?feed=pt_department_of_education.
    When this takes off in 2009 there maybe plenty of collaborative opportunities there.

    We here too are doing the same thing independent of the department so we can take advantage of the education package. I can’t wait to see what the students can do with it.

  13. Having spoken to Dan Leighton and yourself, and read about the versatility of GAPPS – we contemplated the possibility of using Google apps / utlities at Hamble College. Without support and sharing the load, it will remain just a ‘something we talked about.’ Would this provide a venture to make the conversation more concrete?

  14. Tom,
    I had no idea you felt so strongly about the GTA when I Tweeted you about it. I will continue to follow the story until you are a GCT as I learn so much from you – Tom Barrett – “The Google Docs Guy”. Thank you for blogging about it.


  15. Thankyou for the comments of support and your thoughts on the potential of GTA UK. I would of course appreciate you all emailing any Google contacts you have 🙂 which would help to continue to raise it as a priority.

    I hope to have some news soon about it which I will post about.

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