Like many teachers who were invited to join the first Google Teacher Academy outside of the USA, one of the things I was curious about was why I had been chosen. This question was answered in part when we were told the following statistics: the 49 teachers who were selected together teach over 19,000 students. In addition we work with over 6,000 other educators who teach 162,000 students. 23 of those at the GTAUK were from outside the UK. The potential impact we can have worldwide once we are back in our schools, therefore, is immense.
Google’s stated aim is “improve teaching and learning by leveraging innovative tools.” Google started working in education in 2006, teaching teachers how to use the tools to foster learning. The first GTA was in November 2006 and since then there have been 8 more Academies in the USA and now this one in London. Google Apps for Education was launched in 2007.
It was an honour to attend the GTAUK – I learnt so much and made so many good contacts, including one who also works in an international school in Switzerland. I’m very happy that I won’t go back and be the only Google Certified Teacher in the country, which is what is going to happen to some of the other international attendees. I’m looking forward to being able to work further with Jonathan to set up some training for teachers in international schools in Switzerland, as well as for teachers working in the Swiss schools – this will definitely be a challenge as I don’t speak German!