Saturday, October 26, 2013

The First Post- Or How Google Left Me Speechless

As a connected educator, I follow more blogs, tweets, and circles than I can count. But I never really saw myself creating a blog on my own. With the plethora of information out there, what could I add? What unique perspective could I provide?

And then one day, my life changed forever. After attending a session on Google Teacher Academy at TeachMeet NJ, I knew I had to apply. The chances of being picked might be small, but what an amazing experience it could be! So when the next sessions came up with October deadlines for London and Stockholm, I got right to work. I began with creating my video on Classroom Innovation. I knew I wanted to showcase how my school, which recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks grades 5-8, was using technology in innovative ways, but I wasn't sure where to begin. 

To coincide with beginning my application, my school began providing 2 hours of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) training twice a month for 5-8th grade teachers. The heavens aligned, and I met an amazing educator and innovator named Rich Kiker (@rkiker), a Google Certified Apps Trainer, who was hired by my district to provide our GAFE training. After an amazing first day with Rich, I was able to focus my video to how Google solutions were helping our school master the Common Core Standards. I featured four solutions that Rich introduced to us that day, and paired each solution with a standard that Google could help bring to life. I used Animoto to create my video, finished my application, and held my breath. You can see my video here.

Friday, October 25th, 2013- After checking my e-mail like a compulsive lunatic, I had almost given up hope when it occured to me- I hadn't checked my Spam folder. And there it was. As my fellow GTAUK member put it "my golden ticket" was there, sitting in my Spam folder. I ran out of my classroom (the children were gone of course), yelling and jumping up and down, not even knowing how to articulate my excitement and joy at the prospect of traveling to London to be connected with 49 other innovative educators. 

Well, the count down has officially begun- 39 days until GTAUK!! I could not feel more lucky, blessed, and thankful to be chosen. I plan on blogging as much as I can of the experience, beginning now.

 But that is not what this blog will be about. My hope is to provide resources and inspiration for other connected educators, especially those in the field of Special Education. We in Special Ed have a unique challenge, combining pedagogy and content knowledge, and when you add in the power of technology, the possibilities for closing the achievement gap are endless!  

Thank you for taking a look, and make sure you follow me on Twitter! @murphette316

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