I was lucky enough to be accepted as one of only 50, to the Google Teacher Academy of South East Asia in the first week of October in Manila, Philippines. This is the application video that started it all:
After I was accepted I had 2 weeks to get organised, get excited and get to the Philippines. After discussing on twitter at #GTASEA, I discovered that some amazing colleagues that I am connected with were attending as well.
This reflection below is written by both Kim Vernon and myself.
We were lucky enough to experience GTA together and this is a collaborative reflection. We both applied to the academy because we are passionate, enthusiastic and globally connected educators. We love to learn and this opportunity was as exciting as it gets! Before we give you the lowdown, here is Kim’s application video:
Our 4 hour flight from Singapore landed us into a tropical storm in Manila, Phillippines. As a result the 20 minute drive from the airport lasted over an hour. But we made it to the hotel in time for some greasy food and a drink and a good nights sleep! The Manila magic had just begun!
One of the unique aspects of the Google Teacher Academy is their ability to bring together 50 of the most dedicated educators in the region. These teachers have, for many years been an online ‘avatar’, an avatar who had the ability to inspire through their posts, links and shared resources. It was somewhat daunting to think they the avatar world and the real-world environments were about to come together.
It became evident very early on that this academy was not going to be simply a bootcamp for Google Apps. Although we were looking forward to engaging with the applications, we weren’t in the room because we needed help with apps, we were their because Google believed we were agents of change. We had either already begun the journey in our schools or were ready to begin the journey of creating change in our environment.
Our Google Leaders and Mentors led us through elements of being an effective change agent. We saw the ‘Moonshot thinking’. Thinking differently and challenging what we feel to be impossible is the only way we will truly solve the problems in education that plague all of us.
We quickly understood the importance of the team. We found that it is not about us – It’s about the first follower. It is about inspiring others to follow down the path of positive change.
As we leave the academy, we are challenged to think about how we can best take our moonshot back to our schools. Reflecting on our leadership styles we are led to think, not about us and how we are going to make the change but how can we utilise those around us to help initiate any innovations and change.
Oh!….and we shared a few Google apps! You see it’s not about Google, it’s about innovation, change and most importantly, it’s about your moonshot…