It’s a GTA in the UK

Image Source: http://www.funonthenet.in/

Today, Google announced the next Google Teacher Academy. This time they will be hosting the resource and networking packed day at the London offices at 76 Buckingham Palace Road.

“The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region. “

Event Date: July 29, 2010

Application Deadline: 11:59 PM PDT (UTC/GMT -7), June 17, 2010

Applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been accepted on or before June 24, 2010 PDT.

SPECIAL NOTES:

Please read through all the requirements and directions BEFORE completing this application.
Educators worldwide may apply, but must pay for their own travel and lodging.
Previous Google Certified Teachers are not eligible.

 

Everything that’s given away for free costs you bandwidth

This is what one of the network admins stated at the NJETI Network Administrators Roundtable last Thursday. I was taking notes in the published Google Doc that Darryl Ensminger , Associate Director of Professional Development for the NJEA and I had set up as a guideline for the discussion. We set four questions for our four break-out groups to each have three (short) minutes to discuss and then to come back and discuss with the larger group:

  1. What exactly do we need to maintain the integrity of the network?
  2. How do we plan to maintain the network’s infrastructure?
  3. How do you allocate your technology budget?
  4. What communication vehicles does your district utilize? We never got to this one.

Speaking of never getting to the fourth question. Darryl and I agreed that if we were to coordinate this type of conversation at next year’s conference, we would request the two-hour block of time in the morning as 50 minutes was not enough time. I think we all left the room wanting to continue our conversation.

I’d also like to add that I may have missed valuable information from side conversations, and I have reworded much of the list so that it is written in my own voice.

1. What exactly do we need to maintain the integrity of the network?

Of course there is no one answer to what a school or district needs to maintain the integrity of their network, but in the short time we all spoke about it, it was suggested that network admins should have the following implemented:

  • group policies to control access
  • a good filter for specific file extensions (Squid, an open source alternative was suggested)
  • decent physical cabling and structure
  • staff buy-in to the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy)

How do we plan to maintain the network’s infrastructure?

  • The concept of hosting wikis, course management systems, videos,  etc inside the network seemed quite popular among the group
  • One participant brought up the very interesting topic of Internet 2 and how to put together a large group of districts to approach this network to help maintain connectivity
  • It was also agreed on that no matter how much bandwidth the district had, it would be saturated
  • One network admin proposed building networks in the building that supported cells

How do you allocate your technology budget?

  • First response to the whole group – How do you allocate nothing? (fair enough)
  • The priorities were to pay for filtering, subscriptions, and licensing renewals
  • It is always necessary to set money aside for replacement parts
  • It was agreed that the offices take precedence over the classrooms
  • It was also agreed on that the teacher’s computers takes precedence over student computers

As I mentioned above, we needed more time. But it was a great beginning to a conversation that needs to be had. We gave everyone a Tinyurl to the Google Doc and suggested that they go back to their districts with the concept I had spoke about in my Keynote earlier that day – No decision about technology should be made in isolation. There’s a trio that needs to gather in order to make informed decisions regarding using technology to improve teaching and learning for children. This trio includes teachers, IT staff and district administrators. The trio should be involved in all technology decisions regarding software applications, hardware purchases and what information needs to be filtered in. These decisions made by only one third of the group, might not be optimum for the good of the students and the good of the school.

I welcome comments and suggestions.

Budgets, Filters and Students – Oh My!

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting at the annual New Jersey Educational Technology Institute (NJETI)  conference. With the way politics has been going in New Jersey and the percentage of districts whose budgets were defeated, I chose my words carefully, yet passionately. I’ve linked below to my deck and here are the resources that I will be sharing:

I’ll be Tweeting from the conference, I’m sure, so if you are there follow the hashtag #NJETI and even if you aren’t, join in on the conversation.

Tweet and Blog for Ed Tech 0n May 12

We have a serious problem on our hands.

We’re in a budget crisis.

Old news. I know. But it’s about to possibly get worse.

President Obama’s budget for FY11 provides no direct funding for education technology programs. Instead, it zeros out the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, the only source of direct support for ed tech in many states and districts.

Since Congress doesn’t have to agree to the President’s budget recommendations please join the campaign to Tweet and Blog for Ed Tech on May 12!

Help your senator and representative understand what’s at stake! On May 12 tweet, retweet, and blog your support for $500 million in FY11 ed tech funding.

The Ed Tech Action Network (ETAN) has listed these as sample Tweets for May 12.

  • @TomHarkin #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @DavidObey #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @ThadCochran #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @RepToddTiahrt #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • Our schools need 21st century education, #EETT. Fund #edtech at $500 m
  • No funding for #edtech? No prep for 21st century. Fund #EETT at $500m
  • I support #edtech. I vote. Fund #EETT at $500m in 2011
  • As a principal/teacher/parent I know our kids need #edtech skills. Fund #EETT at $500m

Visit ISTEConnects or the EdTechActionNetwork for more information.

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter,” he told the students. “And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.” President Barack Obama (Huffingtonpost.com)

If this is the mindset of the leaders of our government, we need to make our voices heard that educational technology in schools needs financial support from the federal government. We don’t want our students leading us into the future with the technology of the past.


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