Growth in Numbers: Reflecting on #GTAATX Day 1

IMG_0239What 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, communities, families, ideas, professional problems and collaboratively ideated solutions. As much as we were all seemingly prepared for this day to come…I can honestly say that none of us were really expecting to feel what we felt today…

Like “inspired” game changers who were truly challenged to think…

That does not happen that often…not in this way.

There is a reason that many of us did not get into previous cohorts. I needed to spend 3 days with Beth Still in Austin learning by day and reflecting at night. I needed to sit down with Minnesota’s own, Geri Feiock, and hear about how her district is using SMART in transformative ways along with chromebooks to provide blended learning opportunities for students. I needed to learn alongside the brilliantly talented John Stevens, creator of Would You Rather Math, which I include in all of my “math trainings”. I needed to connect with Rebecca Vieyra, currently serving as a teaching fellow for Nasa Aeronautics.

I needed to hear Shaelynn Farnsworth’s passion fueled talk about how technology can be a voice conduit for the voiceless.

In my book, The Missing Voices in Edtech, I encourage women and people of color to seek career related honors such as this. I need to add that yes, we should do this….but do it because it will certainly make you a better person. You will think. You will be inspired. You will leave with a charge to identify a problem and follow through with addressing it.

You will not leave as the person that you were when you arrived.

You will be better…along with your entire cohort.

In case you missed it, this was only day 1…

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