View Post

Errors in Innovation and Call-Out Culture of Edtech

In Google by rafranzdavis3 Comments

This exchange happened at a SMART Global Summit two years ago… Setting: SMART Exec surrounded by teachers brought in to give feedback on SMART Amp Exec: So what do you think about Amp? Would you take this back to your school district as a recommendation? Me: Absolutely not. There’s nothing that this product does that can’t be accomplished with google apps. Why would we pay $7 per student for something that we can already accomplish at zero cost? Frankly, I think that you need to seek input from teachers beyond your core community. Many other teachers agreed and added to this feedback, …

Growth in Numbers: Reflecting on #GTAATX Day 1

In Google, Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

What happens when you put 50 “forward-thinking” educators into a room and ask them to devise a plan to change their educational landscape or even the world? They not only attack their “self-selected” problem. They also unearth dynamics that they did not even realize existed. This is life right now at Google Teacher Academy and I can honestly say that I have never been challenged to think to the depth that I was today…and it’s only day 1. Since the arrival of our official invites, we have connected through voxer, twitter and our google plus community. We’ve shared our lives, …

View Post

Experiencing the World Through the Google Cultural Institute

In Google by rafranzdavis0 Comments

A few months ago, I found the Google Cultural Institute while looking around for a few of Google’s initiatives and I have to say that this is my all time favorite thing that google has ever done. As a person who believes wholeheartedly in the power of experience through media, I love that users can take a virtual tour of a plethora of cultural cognizant artistic and historical pieces.   Other things that users can do… Click the dropdown next to Explore and visit featured projects like World Wonders which takes users on a Google streetview tour of “The World’s heritage sites” …

Would’ve Should’ve Could’ve: Reflecting on the Google Teacher Academy Austin Submission

In Google, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis10 Comments

This summer, after the rejection that was GTA Atlanta, I sat and talked to my friend Lise while I was in Canada about my Google Teacher Academy rejection. She flat out told me that my biggest problem was that I do not talk about the things that I do enough. She reminded me of my network of connections and how I don’t “hightlight” them at all. She even said that I didn’t talk specifically about the mathematical connections that I help teachers and students make through inquiry using applicable tools. Then, there is the whole part about me speaking at …

A Boy, A Lion and A Google Form

In Braeden, Google by rafranzdavis1 Comment

The other day Braeden decided that he wanted to involve “twitter” in his puppet decisions. As a kid who thrives on collaboration, making a Google form to share seemed like the obvious choice. Those were his words anyway. His questions… What should I name my lion puppet? Should I make a turkey costume for Lenny the Lizard? Which puppet should I make a Christmas costume for? After the form was created and shared, it was simply amazing watching him light up as his survey takers increased. He watched his data change and as the data changed, his questions and thoughts …

View Post

Yes, I’m Applying to GTA Again

In Braeden, Google, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis2 Comments

Google Teacher Academy is coming to Austin and even after the let-down of Atlanta, I’m applying again. I took a different route in taking the time to try and creatively piece a video together as opposed to last year’s “last minute like” video. No, it’s not about the video…and from what I understand, it’s only a small portion but to me, this was important. I have never been a great video editor but I took the “letdown of Atlanta” as an opportunity to learn. I wanted to be better at creating the story so I looked at other forms of …

How We Remixed My Son’s PPT Homework with Google Tour Builder

In Google by rafranzdavis0 Comments

It’s the last of school and my son’s geography teacher kindly sent me a text that his “research” assignment wasn’t completed. His job was to imagine that he had $10,000 that he could spend anywhere in the world, plan a trip and create a ppt with a minimum of 15 slides. He had two weeks to get this done in class and didn’t finish it. As much as I despise when my son does this, moments like today opened the door to multiple learning moments. 1. I get to spend some necessary quality homework time with my teen son 2. …

View Post

30 Days of Learning-Day 1: Google Translate and A Lesson from my Dad

In Google, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Today, as promised, I embarked on my journey of learning something new daily. I will admit to being unsure of where to start today. I even began a lesson on Lynda.com, about storytelling. Although I did learn a thing or two, I decided against making that moment my learning moment. Then, I was tagged on Google+ by Boris Berljin, an educator from the Netherlands, telling me how he wrote a blog post about presenting on social media at a conference and referenced one of my postings from Instagram. This excited me because the post was in dutch and that gave me a reason …

View Post

Hello, I’m Rafranz and I’m a GTA Reject!

In Google, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis10 Comments

A few weeks ago, I took a gamble and applied to the Google Teacher Academy in Atlanta. I knew going in that being chosen was a long shot as there were only 35 slots but I wanted to go for it because eventually, I wanted to apply to the academy in Austin…a more realistic “local” location. I even reflected on the process…here. So, to be clear…I NEVER considered myself a “real” contender to get in which, as I write this…maybe that was my first mistake Fast forward to yesterday…my friend Beth Still reminded me on Facebook that today was coming. Tweets were …

View Post

GTA Application Video Submitted, a post reflection

In Google, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis2 Comments

Today I decided to complete my application for the Google Teacher Academy and anyone that knows me knows how much of a big deal this is that I did it so soon as that does not typically happen. Yes, applications are due in May but with a media fair, after school sessions and a trip to NY looming, I knew that today was the day…now or never. I didn’t have the luxury of a classroom to include, students or other teachers. Correction: Had I waited, I’m sure that I could’ve rounded up a few people but today was not feasible and …