The Google Learning Institute Comes to Rutgers University

gli

Search, learn, share – the GLI has made it to the East Coast!!!

Brought to you by the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, the Google Learning Institute (GLI) introduces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in education. A full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities includes experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and inspirational instructional strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways they’ve implemented tools such as Google Docs, Google Earth,Β  Google Sites, and… even more. Participants who complete the event are given access to the Google Learning Network (GLN), an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning.

uw-stsig

The CMSCE at Rutgers University is partnering with CUE to host this event for NJ educators.

Scholarships to this professional development event are available from such companies as Keyboard Consultants and Impact Technologies. Just submit this quick application after registering for course # 032609aΒ and you’ll be notified by March 1, 2009 whether you have been awarded one of the available scholarships. (Please contact me directly if you have any questions or you are interested in sponsoring a NJ educator, school or district at this special event.

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Update to this post made on 1/29/09: A second Google Learning Institute will be held at the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers University on May 28, 2009. You can register for this event by going to http://cmsce.rutgers.edu.

Gearing up for the GTA NYC

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com
Source: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com

I am psyched!

The New York City Google Teacher Academy is this Tuesday, November 18. Though a large percentage of attendees are from the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia area, many are also coming from Florida, Maine, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Kentucky, to name a few.

Cohort 6 adds 60 new Google Certified Teachers to our growing group of committed educators bringing the total number of GCTs to about 300. I’m looking forward to working again with Erica Hartman, Mark Wagner, Kern Kelly, Cristin Frodella and Allison Merrick as we had a blast at the September GTA. Also presenting this time are Jesse Spevack, Thomas Cooper and Kathy Schrock who I am looking forward to having the chance to work with.

I’ve added some additional Google Sites to the list of exemplar Sites in my Tech Tools rotation since the Chicago GTA. There are some that I removed. The only reason for that was because their documents were not public, so the attendees at the Academy could not view them. Here’s my presentation and the resources I will be sharing.

Click to view the presentation.
Click to view the presentation.

GCT Google Sites Resources:

Exemplar Google Sites:

Kathy Schrock is also presenting on Sites. I LOVE the title of her Inspiring Idea: “Ex-SITE-ing Google Sites for the Classroom”. Kathy will be talking about how Nauset Public Schools are using Google Sites to improve teaching and learning.

The agenda from the Chicago GTA is live right now and Tuesday morning, the NY agenda will become live as GCT’s are known for their collaboration.

I’m sure we’ll be Tweeting, Plurking. and Facebooking all day. Pictures are a no-no inside Google, but we’ll manage to get some at the informal gatherings before and after. πŸ™‚

If we haven’t met before and you’re there on Tuesday, please make sure to introduce yourself. I like to make the face-to-face connection along with the collaboration online. Thanks in advance!

The Six Degrees of GCTs

You may be familiar with the game, β€œSix Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. The challenge of the game is to connect every film actor to Kevin Bacon in six cast lists or less. The game was developed in 1994 by some students at Pennsylvania’s Albright College. Today, it exists in several formats including a board game and a web site generator.

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Generator
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Generator

It all started in 1967 whenΒ  Stanley Milgram, an American Sociologist decided to test what he termed the “small-world problem”. He randomly chose a few people in the mid-West and had them send packages to complete strangers in Massachusetts. Each package had an ultimate target destination, which Milgram estimated it would take hundreds of exchanges to reach, but the experiment proved him wrong.Β  The packages arrived to their pre-determined recipients in (on average) between five and seven exchanges. According to articles published on Milgrim’s experiment,Β  his findings inspired the phrase “six degrees of separation.”

Lots of others have jumped on this craze though.Β  There’s John Guare’s play, Six Degrees of Separation which premiered in 1990. There’s also the movie by the same title released in 1993.

In August 2008, Microsoft set out to test the theory of the 6 Degrees of Separation. Using data from their Microsoft Messenger instant-messaging network in June 2006 (equivalent to roughly half the world’s instant-messaging traffic at that time):

  1. They looked at 180 billion different pairs of users in the database
  2. They found that the average length to connect two users was 6.6 hops
  3. 78 per cent of the pairs could be connected in seven steps or fewer

And then there’s the 6 Degrees of Wikipedia.

I choose to go from Google to Education and these were my results:

I would need only 2 clicks – – Google – – Ann Arbor, Michigan – – Education

6 Degrees of Wikipedia
6 Degrees of Wikipedia

6 Degrees of GCTs
There are now over 250 GCTs and we’re about to welcome 50 more. How are we all connected to each other? Before we used Social Bookmarking tools like Delicious and Diigo and Social Networking tools like Twitter, Plurk and Facebook would it have taken 6 hops to get to each other? Maybe. But I think we’ve got a really strong network of dedicated educators who need maybe two hops at the most to reach each other. I’m really proud to be part of such a strong community.

cert_teacher1

By the way, for those of you who were asking about the video I created for my application back in 2007, the old link is active, but it doesn’t come up in any search queries. I’ve re posted it here.

The Google Teacher Academy Returns to New York City

I’m excited to pass along the news that the Google Teacher Academy is returning to New York City on November 18. Applications are due October 10.I’m truly honored and excited to be leaving today for the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago where I will be presenting on Google Sites.

I get the impression from the number of people who expressed interest at the NJECC meeting this past Friday that competition is going to be fierce! Google only accepts 50 teachers in each cohort, so take a look at my friend, and fellow GCT, Kevin Jarrett‘s post for some tips on how to apply. (BTW – I also posted the announcement on NJECC’s Blog.)

Below is the official announcement and invitation to apply:

Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
——————————————————–
Applications Due: October 10, 2008
http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html
——————————————————–

We are pleased to announce that another round of Google’s FREE training program for K-12 educators is coming to The Big Apple! Outstanding educators from around the world are encouraged to apply for the Google Teacher Academy taking place on Tuesday November 18, 2008.

The GTA is an intensive, one-day event (8:30am-7:30pm) where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, collaborate with exceptional educators, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, GTA participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.

50 outstanding educators from around the world will be selected to attend the GTA based on their passion for teaching, their experience as leaders, and their use of technology in K-12 settings. Each applicant is REQUIRED to produce and submit an original one-minute video on either of the following topics: β€œMotivation and Learning” or β€œClassroom Innovation.” Applications for the event in New York City are due on October 10, 2008. If possible, please use Google Video or YouTube to post these original videos. Participants must provide their own travel, and if necessary, their own lodging. Though we will give preference to K-12 educators within a 90-minute local commute of an Academy event, anyone may apply.

Learn more about the program and the application at http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html

The GTAs have been a wonderful experience for everyone involved, with 97% of all attendees rating the GTA as β€œoutstanding.”

Here are a few quotes from GTA participants:
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œThe academy was everything I hoped for and more! I can’t wait to plan out ways to use the tools we learned about, to share my experiences with my colleagues and to re-connect with the other academy participants!”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œThe focus on innovation in education, and not just about the tools, was right on target.”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œI appreciate the opportunity to be connected to a group of educators that are passionate about preparing students for the 21st century. I feel inspired and able to meet the challenges that lie ahead!”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œUntil now, I had never attended a conference where I was so engaged and loving every minute of it.”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œThis was easily the most important professional development experience I have ever had as an educator. World-class tools demonstrated by world-class people at a world-class facility. THANK YOU!”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
β€œI love [the Google Certified Teacher community] for the ideas and inspiration that comes flowing to and from it…folks share professional development strategies (technology or otherwise) that have worked. It’s nice to have a variety of ways to assist others and having that variety also provides spice for those of us responsible for doing the providing.”
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
Feel free to send any questions to β€œgteachers@gmail.com”, and please spread the word to anyone who may be interested in joining us.

We’re looking forward to another great event!

– The GTA Team
——————————————————–
Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
——————————————————–
Applications Due: October 10, 2008
http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html


Preparing for the Next Google Teacher Academy

The draft of my presentation is due this Friday for the next Google Teacher Academy. I had fun putting together a Google Presentation on my topic, Google Sites, and deciding how I wanted to go about discussing this particular app with the next cohort of GCTs.

I know decisions are being made sometime this week on the chosen 50 and I’m looking forward to hearing through my PLN who they are. When the last cohort was announced in preparation for June’s Academy, the GCT’s Tweeted out links to their blogs and created wikis for informal pre-GTA gatherings. As my flight arrives in Chicago mid-afternoon the day before the GTA, I’m hoping this upcoming cohort is as socially forward-thinking.

Any-who… One critical component of my presentation on September 24 will be to share examples of how Google Sites is being used in the classroom. Please share with me either by commenting here or sending me an e-mail at lisa.thumann at gmail dot com with a link to your Google Site (here’s mine) and an explanation as to how you are using it with your students or how you use it as a current Google Certified Teacher or professional development provider. I would love to include your information in my list of resources on September 24 at the next GTA.

Thanks in advance.