Tag: GTAUK

Weeknote #12

This week I have been mostly…

Travelling
I flew to Cardiff for a JISC Advance internal comms meeting on Tuesday and then went to London and back (Wednesday-Friday) on the train. The thing that seemed to take longest was walking and getting the tube around London. I remain baffled as to why anyone would want to live or work there; I feel like I need to take a shower after travelling one stop on the Underground.

Being inspired
Google Teacher Academy UK more than met my expectations. I’m going to save my reflections for a series of blog posts over the next couple of weeks. Suffice to say, however, that from the first lesson on ‘Search’ I was challenged, inspired and enthused in equal measure. The team that organised #GTAUK were legendary: both friendly and awesome!

Watching Toy Story 3
My thoughts? Great film – probably my favourite action/jailbreak film actually. Still, not as good as Toy Story 2 and I found the attempt to make the audience cry at the end a bit cynical. It was Ben’s first trip to the cinema – he was tired by the end but enjoyed it!

Being reminded of the importance of sleep
I know how much I need to get a good night’s sleep to be productive. That has never been brought home to me more forcibly than this week. Man cannot live on caffeine, sugar and adrenaline alone…

Google Earth for #GTAUK

I’m at Google Teacher Academy today as one of the Lead Learners. The words ‘wow’ and ‘awesome’ are pretty much all I can muster at the moment. My brain is being fried!

I’m leading the Google Earth session. 🙂

One week until #GTAUK

This time next week the first-ever Google Teacher Academy in the UK (#GTAUK) will be drawing to a close. I’m honoured to be one of the UK-based Lead Learners (along with Tom Barrett and Zoe Ross).

I’ll be running the session on Google Earth, one of my favourite tools for learning and teaching. I’ve set up a wiki in an attempt to not only provide resources for delegates, but for the wider community. You can access and contribute to it at:

http://sites.google.com/site/gtaukge

(short URL: http://bit.ly/gtaukge)

Weeknote #10

This week I have been mostly…

Ill

I wasn’t very well at the start of the week – just a bug but it made me feel awful. I took a couple of days off work.

Camping

With my parents away on holiday and Hannah at work I’d booked Wednesday off to look after Ben. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to go camping, just us two, for the first time.

Ben was really well-behaved, but the rain was absolutely torrential on Tuesday night! I thought he’d slept reasonably well, but he asked to go to bed when we got home and slept for another 3 hours…

Preparing

I’ve got some important stuff coming up:

Writing

I’m continuing the JISC Mobile & Wireless Technologies review I started last month, having some really interesting conversations with some extremely innovative people. There’s so much to learn and synthesize!

My thesis is starting to slightly concern me. Although I’ve announced that I’m no longer blogging here every day I’ve got so much left to do. The trouble isn’t the writing of the thing, it’s the keeping up with such a fast-moving field! I undertook my Ed.D. mainly because I love researching but I have to say I’ll be glad when it’s all over.

An idea went through my head earlier this week about a short, free ebook that would serve as a productivity kickstarter. I couldn’t stop thinking about what to include, how to format it, etc. so ended up spending a few hours writing #onfire: ignite your productivity. Do let me know what you think!

#GTAUK: Google Earth wiki & ebook

I’m delighted to have been chosen as a ‘Lead Learner’ for the first-ever UK Google Teacher Academy on 29-30 July 2010. I’ve been asked to run the sessions on Google Earth and am very aware that whilst I’m certainly an enthusiast with some advanced knowledge, I’m certainly not an ‘expert’.
Read more →

Apply for Google Teacher Academy UK!

Introduction

The first ever Google Teacher Academy UK is coming to London on Thursday 29th July 2010! The only reason I’m accepting for YOU not applying is if you’ve already booked your summer holiday for that date. And even then, it had better be somewhere nice… :-p

If you’re an educator (especially if you’re in the UK) this is a great opportunity to be part of something that we’ve called (and especially Tom Barrett) has called for over the last few years. In addition, you could get to become a Google Certified Teacher!

Application Process

There’s two parts to the application process: an online form and a 1-minute video.

You can apply for Google Teacher Academy UK here:

http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html

(closing date: 17 June 2010)

Advice

Here’s 10 bits of advice from me if you’re thinking of applying:

  1. Read what’s required of you. Seriously. For example, don’t submit a video that’s longer than 1 minute in length!
  2. It’s not how much you know about Google and use their tools already. You are allowed to show proficiency in other tools and processes.
  3. The video needs to address one (or both) of the these themes: a) Motivation and Learning, b) Classroom Innovation. You don’t have to feature physically in the video, but these themes do.
  4. Don’t whinge. Show yourself in a positive light.
  5. There’s no point in ticking every box for a question. It’s as if you didn’t tick any of them if you do that.
  6. In the ‘technology skills’ section, don’t do yourself down. If you’re not a newbie, there’s no reason to tick the newbie box!
  7. Read up on what Google Certified Teachers do and who they are. It will make your answers more informed.
  8. Post your video on YouTube. Not elsewhere. And make it publicly viewable (double-check!)
  9. Fill in your answers in a word processor (Google Docs!) and then copy-and-paste the answers in to the form. This will give you chance to reflect on them and run a word count.
  10. Some people have added the one-minute application video to their Google Certified Teacher page (e.g. Chris Craft). Check these out for inspiration – as well a YouTube search for ‘Google Teacher Academy’.

Conclusion

I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s worth giving up not only some of your summer holiday for Google Teacher Academy but also the time it takes to apply. You don’t need to be a current teacher to apply (I’m not!) but you do need to work with educators in some way. Cite your online as well as offline work.

This isn’t a time to be shy, it’s a time to step up and apply for something potentially life-changing. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the end of July! 😀

Image based on originals CC BY dannysullivan

Weeknote #4

This week I have been mostly…

Gaining clarification

I’m part of the team putting the finishing touches to the Open Educational Resources infoKit. It’s going to be launched in a couple of weeks’ time at the Higher Education Academy conference so I needed to ensure I was doing thing properly at my end. I approached David Kernohan, JISC Programme Manager and all-round OER guru after a wider e-learning team meeting down in Bristol this week. When I asked if there was anything he wanted me to do with the OER infoKit before launch, he told me to “make it shiny”. 🙂

Re-considering my workwear

Up until a couple of months ago I worked in schools. Which have 6-week holidays. So it’s pretty easy to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers all-year round. OK, so you might swelter for a couple of weeks, but it’s not worth buying whole new work outfits for such a short period of time.

It’s only really just hit me that I’ll be working all through the summer. Which is fine, but kind of means I should invest in some more workwear. And then there’s the whole roasting hot outside/air conditioning inside problem – but I’ll stop before I sound too metrosexual

Buying (and almost buying) a new phone

I’d decided on the Nokia N900 as the replacement to my ageing iPhone 3G; I wanted something open and different. The trouble is, a crafty eBayer scammed me on Monday (I’ve since got my money back through Paypal) and then I managed to input my details incorrectly in my excitement at seeing that Carphone Warehouse had some reconditioned SIM-free N900s in stock for half their normal retail price. So I ended up N900-less.

In the end, I’m pleased I did have those problems, because the phone/tablet/slate/hybrid thing I bought yesterday really does seem to kick some ass. It’s a Dell Streak which sports a 5″ screen and runs Google’s Android operating system. I’m going to review it on Tuesday but suffice to say I feel very futuristic using it compared to my iPhone! :-p

Pulling out of the SHP Conference

I was due to speak with Nick Dennis at the annual Schools History Project Conference again this year, for the fourth year in a row. However, I’ve decided for a number of reasons, not least that I’m not currently in the classroom, to let Nick speak by himself at the conference this year. I’ll be helping out with the first-ever TeachMeet at the event virtually.

Getting excited about Google Teacher AcademyI’ve had a couple of conversations with the legendary Tom Barrett recently about the upcoming Google Teacher Academy on Thursday 29th July 2010. I’ll be running at least one of the sessions and am really looking forward to meeting innovative educators at the event!

I really would encourage you to apply to be one of the 50 at GTA UK. Everything you need to know is on this page and you need to apply by Thursday 17th June 2010. It involves both an online application and a 1-minute video. I know it’s a busy time of year and being held during the summer holidays, but you’ll definitely not be there if you don’t apply! 😀

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