Posts categorized "Google Certified Teachers" Feed

Announcing the First Virtual Summit Featuring Google for Education

Very excited to be developing a new form of Google Summits along with Steve Hargadon and CUE! We just announced to today the CUE Learning Revolution Online Summit Featuring Google for Education. We're hoping to bring the magic of these summits to educators who are seeking more professional development around Google apps, particularly in areas of the US and beyond where access to face to face events is not necessarily practical.

This two day event will take place on September 6 and September 7 from 9 AM to 6 PM GMT-7 using Google Hangouts on Air. Steve Hargadon and I usually run our global ed conference around the clock, and eventually we want to do that with this conference.  However, we're keeping things manageable for our first summit and thus limiting the hours. We do realize this is not necessarily convenient for educators around the globe, but keep in mind that all the sessions will be recorded and available indefiintely. The cost to attend and view sessions is $40 for both days and this includes a CUE membership

Google Certified Teachers, Google Education Trainers, and Google Educators are invited to sumbit proposals for this event. Below is a digital flyer that I hope you will pass along to potentially interested colleagues!  


Breakthrough Learning @Google: Day 1 Video

Get a taste of the Breakthrough Learning education summit that was held at Google at the end of October. I had the great privilege of attending this historic event and I'm glad to see that the ideas discussed are shared this way with the general public. As a friend noted afterwards, this stuff needs to go viral in the way TEDTalks have.

I've been involved peripherally with Google's education efforts since 2006 as a blogger for the Infinite Thinking Machine and as a Google Certified Teacher. It's been exciting to watch their education initiatives develop, and this event was significant as it indicates that Google plans to continue its role in conversations about education at a national level. The fact that both CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin addressed this audience was not lost on me, and I can't wait to see what develops as a result of this two day convening of people influential in the world of education.

I love education conferences in general, and could soak up the ideas of others forever, so I enjoyed 99% of the speakers at Breakthrough Learning. I was particularly struck by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who apparently really knows education through his involvement with the California State Board of Education and KIPP. He's clearly a brilliant guy who understands that there aren't quick fixes to our nation's educational woes. I also loved NYC principal Jason Levy's story of turning around his school with computers and Google Apps. As one of the few practitioners represented in the speaker line up, his presentation was truly compelling.

Here's the official Google video from day 1. More to come!


Also, check out Esther Wojcicki and Jason Levy in these videos:


Breakthrough Learning:  +1 Learner: How personal learning networks can transform individual teacher practice 

Cross posted at: Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age

Imagine a learning community for educators, a place where teachers can connect to the world. Teachers can pose questions and receive just in time help and advice from virtual colleagues. Links to interesting web sites are exchanged. Practitioners connect with researchers at universities. Up to the minute news is disseminated and absorbed. Multimedia is viewed and critiqued by audiences beyond the walls of a single school. 

Such a community isn't that far fetched. In fact, many do exist on the Internet today, thanks to the powerful digital technologies of the information age. Educators are also creating their own customized personalized learning networks using a variety of tools. To the detriment of their students, millions of educators worldwide are missing out because they don't embrace new media, haven't realized its potential, or are simply denied access to the Internet's riches for various reasons. How can we help teachers foster breakthrough learning? How do we guide teachers through a process that empowers them to take ownership of their own professional development and deepen their impact on their classrooms? Encouraging teachers to develop their own personal learning networks can be one part of the solution.

I can pinpoint two pivotal experiences that mark the start of my own personal learning network journey. The first came in 2005 when a fellow Apple Distinguished Educator introduced  a term completely foreign to me: RSS or Real Simple Syndication. Because of RSS, I started following news sources and weblogs of experts, even venturing into blogging myself as a method of recording my professional ideas and resources. Information efficiently arrived in my newsreader; no longer did I have to chase it down by visiting individual sites.

A second defining moment happened a year later while on vacation. I was sitting in a Paris hotel room, uploading photos from my laptop computer to Flickr, a photo sharing site. I unexpectedly received an instant message from Portland, Oregon principal Tim Lauer. I had met Tim two years prior at a workshop he led at the National Educational Computing Conference . Tim indicated in his IM that he had noticed that I was in Paris as he saw my very recently uploaded photos on Flickr. In fact, he had just visited Paris himself and had wanted to visit a historic paint store, but had missed the opportunity. He sent me a link to an NPR piece on the Sennelier shop, and asked me to find it and take pictures if I had the chance. Fortuitously, the shop was only two blocks away from my hotel. I trotted over took a few pictures and emailed them to Tim. Thus, began our collegial friendship which continues on. Not only did I glean a bit about the rich history of this paint shop that day, but perhaps more importantly, I realized that communication, resource sharing and collegiality could extend way beyond my classroom walls in Chicago. I was no longer limited by traditional means. 

Since then, I've continued to explore both informal and formal networked professional development opportunities. I've always been curious about getting ideas from those with different experiences and perspectives. My arsenal of learning tools has grown to include Web 2.0 applications such as Delicious and Diigo for sharing bookmarks, Google Docs for sharing and storing documents online, and Twitter for connecting to people from many education related fields. 

Social networks also have supported my professional development. Facebook keeps me current with the work of organizations such as EdutopiaPBS Teachers, and Curriki . I often refer to Classroom 2.0, a web site developed using the Ning platform, when looking for concrete examples of technology infused projects, and for when I have questions related to educational technology. Inspired by the success of this site, I even created my own Ning on the topic of global education, bringing together educators interested in global projects. 

Online meeting spaces are currently intriguing me. One network that has proven to be invaluable is EdTechTalk, a collaborative web casting community. Educators volunteer to host weekly live online interviews with a wide variety of guests. Listeners participate via a back channel chat room, asking questions, suggesting resources, and sharing experiences. All sessions are recorded and archived in a podcast format for those unable to attend. I am also interested in the delivery of online professional development and have recently started using a meeting tool called Elluminate while participating in webinars run by Steve Hargadon and sponsored by several entities at the Future of Education

Note that none of the tools I've mentioned thus far costs me a cent. More importantly, I can engage with tools and content when my schedule allows. I choose to develop professionally using the tools that matter to me because I believe that educators must continue to evolve and refine their work. I must practice what I preach. 

To demonstrate the power of a personal learning network, I recently used Twitter to pose a link to a survey for my online colleagues on the potential of digital technologies to transform teaching and learning. If you're not quite convinced on these potential transformational effects, take a look at the stories submitted from over 60 educators around the world. Change is indeed happening; we just need to get more educators on board. Our next step in this area should be to contemplate how to effectively help educators to customize their own professional development on a large scale. 

Here is the 
survey I created using a form in Google Docs and here are the results. (Also, check out this word cloud based on survey responses.) One comment in particular sums this up for me. In an excerpt of a survey comment, Keith Hamon of Macon, Georgia writes:

"Technology has enabled global networks which have put me at the center of my learning. This is one of the neat tricks of the shift from hierarchical structures to network structures. As a student in an old-school hierarchy, I was at the bottom of the food chain with all the other students, with teachers a bit higher up, and then department chairs, deans, and so on...but in a personal learning network, I am at the center...This gives me great power to pursue the learning that is important to me, to create my own educational program. I am my own universe - ity. But here's the real magic: so is everyone else. In a network, we are all in the center, all empowered to work the network—adding value and taking value—to meet our goals."

Now, if we can do this for ourselves, imagine how we can do this for our students.

Expanding Your NECC 2009 Experience


Cross Posted at the Infinite Thinking Machine

View and edit NECC 2009 Washington, DC in a larger map. Please add your recommendations!

It's that time of year again... The International Society for Technology in Education will celebrate its 30th birthday in a few weeks by hosting the National Educational Computing Conference in Washington, D.C. For me, it's a particularly exciting time to be visiting our nation's capital in light of our new president and a renewed focus on improving education.

NECC 2009 promises to be professionally rejuvenating event for anyone interested in educational technology. It is a potentially overwhelming conference with nearly 13,000 attendees and approximately 500 vendors presenting their wares. For the record, educational technology has never been about the tools for me (although I do revel in the cool factor of many technologies), but about leveraging learning for kids. That said, I hope that educators from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests will attend for similar reasons. I would actually like to see the excitement about educational technology filter down more to those who aren't necessarily techie geeks like myself.

For the past few years, I've posted a blog entry highlighting a few tips and tricks for making the most of your NECC experience. Review my ideas for 2007 and for 2008; I still stand by that general advice. Pick an area of focus, spend time planning before you get to Washington with that theme in mind, and give yourself plenty of time to digest everything. Bring your laptop for taking notes and accessing additional content; I suspect more people will be using iPhones for this purpose, however. Finally, get connected with other educators through the plethora of events that are scheduled. For the second year, ISTE has an online community for conference conversation. Networking isn't just for job seekers or administrators anymore!

If you are not able to attend in person, you should be able to participate virtually as well. Some presenters may elect to post their materials online and to stream video feeds of their presentations. At Edubloggercon, an informal "unconference" to be held Saturday, June 27 as a precursor to NECC, many sessions will also be broadcast via tools such as Ustream. Finally, similar sessions called NECC Unplugged will be taking place in the Blogger's Café during the actual conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

In addition to all this, people will be blogging, posting pictures, and twittering away about conference happenings. You can find this stuff by searching various sources using tags (keyword labels) such as NECC, NECC2009, and NECC09. For instance, search Twitter using #NECC and you'll find a steady microblogging stream. I recommend searching Technorati for blog posts and Flickr for photos in a similar manner.

Finally, I like to make the most of any travel experience by doing a little research ahead of time. I usually do a cursory search in iTunes for content related to my destination that I can put on my iPod or iPhone. For instance, I purchased the audiobook of A Cricket in Times Square for my daughter when we traveled to New York City prior to NECC 2005. In 2006, I traveled to Europe with other Apple Distinguished Educators on a project and I brought along a Passport to Europe episode on Berlin and a No Reservations episode on Paris (this show isn't necessarily for kids, by the way). In addition to these items, there are tons of free podcasts available in iTunes if you do a search for your particular destination.

I've taken the liberty of putting together a few Washington DC related resources. I have not reviewed all of these; I just explored and plucked ones that look potentially interesting. If you have any additional recommendations, please add them to the comments. Enjoy and see you in DC. I'll be in the Google booth from time to time and presenting as part of Larry Anderson's Podcasting and Podcatching for the Absolute Beginner panel. Stop by and say hello!

Washington DC and NECC Resources

Lucy's NECC Calendar - Each year, I use the NECC conference planner to plot any sessions interesting to me. I'm focusing on math, science and interactive whiteboards this year.

Lucy's NECC '09 Map - Join this Google Map and add your info and recommendations.

NECC Ning - NECC's online community; attendees and virtual attendees are welcome to join.

GovFresh - one stop shopping for multimedia produced by the U.S. governent. Everything is aggregated in one place; web 2.0 at its finest!

Apps for your iPhone:


TV Shows and Movies: YouTube Channels:

Getting Googley in Chicago

Very exciting news! The next Google Teachers Academy has been announced and it's going to take place in Chicago. If you're not familiar with the GTA concept, it's a day of training for innovative educators at Google's Chicago office. 50 participants will be selected from a pool of applicants, and they will join the ranks of almost 300 Google Certified Teachers world-wide.  Anyone can apply and attend as long as they can take care of travel arrangements. It is not just open to Chicago area teachers!  I will be helping Mark Wagner, Cristin Frodella, and Allison Merrick run this event, and I am thrilled to be part of this team.  FYI, another GTA will be coming to New York City in November; the date has not been announced just yet. For more info, click on the image below!

iSummit 2009 - Nashville

I'm in Nashville through Saturday at iSummit, a conference for private and charter school educators at schools with 1 to 1 laptop deployments. I'm really excited to be here as it's my first time visiting Tennessee!

Below are my presos which I've posted in Slideshare. Please feel free to contribute to my Google Maps/Earth teacher meme project and to join our group in Diigo where I will be bookmarking relevant links. Also, consider joining the Google in Education group as well.

View Larger Map

Official Google Blog: Celebrating National Teacher Day

Link: Official Google Blog: Celebrating National Teacher Day.

BIG announcement from the Googleplex today! After a brief hiatus, the famed Google Teachers Academies are resuming. The next one will be at the end of June at the main corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. ANYONE can apply; you just have to get yourself there. Apply now, as the application window is only open a short time. This is truly a special opportunity for teachers to see the famed Googleplex AND to have the opportunity to network with other professional interested in educational innovation.

Also, there's a set of pages that complement Google's exisiting set of educational materials.  This subsite is called Geo Education. Check it out!

Continue reading "Official Google Blog: Celebrating National Teacher Day" »

Google Scavenger Hunt for Middle Schoolers

I'm so excited about a spur of the moment project I started today in my sixth grade computer science class. We just finished group reports in our millennial/computer terms wiki, and our next topic to cover is graphing. For the past two quarters, I've done a rather dry assignment involving temperatures of cities around the world in Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I decided I wanted to explore an Ogle Earth blog posting forwarded by Chris Walsh to the GCT community, and I began by trying out the Google LookUp formula within Google Spreadsheets. Essentially, you enter certain search terms into this formula, data is found by Google, and entered into the specified cell. See this blog posting in the official Google blog for more information and check out the hunt itself. I need to add more complete directions and polish it a bit, but I may post about this over at the Infinite Thinking Machine when the project is finished. So far, my students' reactions have been really positive... they had no idea about the calculator features in Google Search and many said that this alone would help them with their homework. Another thing to note is a suggestion from my colleague, Marty. She thought it would be great to use autofill with this Lookup formula, to say, find statistics for a set of pro baseball players. Unfortunately, autofill doesn't seem to be a feature with Google Spreadsheets yet!

Friday 5: More Cool Tools

Friday 5: More Cool Tools

Hi Everyone -

In February, I had the opportunity to help with the second Google Teacher's Academy in New York. Along with two other GTA leaders, I participated in a "Cool Tools Duel" in which we presented a couple of our favorite edtech resources. Everyone present then voted via applause for the overall favorite. This activity inspired a long list of other cool tools within the Google Certified Teachers community, and I thought I'd share a few of my favorites this week. The third Google Teachers Academy just wrapped this week in Southern California, so welcome to any new Google Certified Teachers who may have joined the Friday 5!

Enjoy and think summer,

Lucy Gray

1) VoiceThread

This site was recommended recently by my ADE friend, Valerie Becker, and I'm looking forward to exploring it further. At VoiceThread, you upload photos (or directly import them from your Flickr account) and a slide show is created. You then can add audio and text narration, and have others comment on the photos in a similar manner. Check out this document for information on how you can set up VoiceThread to for classroom use.

2) Gliffy

Here's an online alternative for concept mapping. There are some nice Web 2.0-like features in Gliffy, such as the ability to blog about a drawing as well as to add collaborators to a file. Via Chris Walsh.


Create multimedia, interactive time lines for free at this web site. This is a nice resource for personal use because several sets of guiding questions regarding various life scenarios are presented. For instance, there is a set of travel questions that will lead you to reflect and document on a trip. Via Kevin Jarrett.

4) Math Thinking Blocks

This is an online visualization tool for helping students with math. In the module I sampled, I was given a story problem in which I had to figure out the total cost of two items. I was guided through three steps to solve this problem which included visual guides and feedback. I found this to be a really unusual as well as useful tool for helping students with math. You really need to try this one out!  Via Kevin Jarrett.

5) The Generator Blog

This was suggested in the GCT community by Alix Pleshette. This blog contains a growing list of web sites in which you can generate general silliness. For instance, you can add your own picture to an image of a cereal box, make a banner for a web page, or create your own customized Hollywood sign. You might want to screen any of the sites listed here first before using with students, though. Some of them do not look appropriate for kids.

To subscribe to the Friday 5 Google Group, visit this page.

NECC 2007 Workshop Resources

Excuse multiple crossposts -

Julene Reed and I are teaching a workshop at NECC on global collaboration, and I've set up a series of resources to demonstrate during this class. I hope that these resources will live on as people become interested in sharing resources used to teach global awareness concepts. Please consider jumping in and joining any of these groups. Some of them are already seeded with material, but others are just getting started. Feel free to pass this info on to anyone you know that also might be interested.

If you are presenting on a simliar topic at NECC, please think about "crosspollinating" material in these spaces as well.

1) Global Education Ning group

2) Global Education Flickr group

3) Global Ed Google Group

4) Global Education Collaborative Wikispace

5) I'm tagging any resources I bookmark with the tag globalawareness in Furl and in

6) Google Calendar for Global Education - enter your NECC global awareness events here, for instance.

If you think of other similar resources we should include, please send me suggestions.  Thanks!!!

The Friday 5 Search Engine

I've made a customized Google search engine using sites I commonly use when compiling Friday 5 lists. It's now listed on the left-hand side of my blog along with a box that allows people to subscribe to the Friday 5 in Google Groups. If you ask to contribute to this search engine, you can add relevant sites. It is also possible to add the search engine to your blog, homepage, or Google start page.

I can see teachers using Google Co-Op to make customized engines for various units of study. I think it's a pretty handy way to direct students research instead of just letting them loose on the Internet.

Friday 5: Summer Professional Development

Hi All -

This info is crossposted at the Infinite Thinking Machine blog. Thanks to Laurie Bartels who gave me a good portion of the technology and brain based learning links. If you'd like to contribute to this list, email me and I'll add you as a contributor to the Google Doc version of this list. You'll be able to find any additions if you bookmark this link.

Lucy Gray


Summer Professional Development Opportunities


Learning and the Brain (takes place every November and April)
April 28-30, Cambridge, MA

CAST conference - Universal Design for Learning (applicable to both
technology and the brain)
July 23-26, near Boston, MA

The Brain, Learning & Applications Summer Institute (same as below)
August 2-3, Nashville, TN

The Brain, Learning & Applications Summer Institute
August 21-22, Avon, CT

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
multiple dates and types of drawing, painting and sketching sessions so
check the site

Schools Attuned -
See this press release:


Authentic Education Summer Institutes

ASCD Summer Conference on Differentiated Instruction
June 30 - July 2  Salt Lake City, Utah


The Library of Congress | The Learning Page | Self-Serve Workshops

Professional Development Listings at the National Council for the Social Studies web site

National Gallery of Art - Teacher Institute 2007

National Geographic School Publishing and Literacy Achievement Research Center's Literacy Institute


Texas Instruments Professional Development

Key Curriculum Press Workshops

Math Forum - Math Education Conferences


Stanford Summer Programs for Teachers
For Bay Area teachers only

International Studies Summer Institute 2007

NCTE - Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 12 - 15 Louisville, KY

Responsive Classroom Institutes

Summer Institute for the Gifted

Phillips Exeter Academy Summer Programs

Chicago Foundation for Education's Fund for Teachers Grant

The application deadline for this has passed, and it's only for Chicago Public School teachers. Keep it in mind for next year!


Pasco Professional Development

Teachers as Investigators

The Keystone Center's Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom Program

Teton Science Schools - Teacher Learning Center Programs

Exploratorium: Teacher Institute

Earthwatch Institute


Summercore - "A Unique Five Day Marathon in Hardware, Software and
dates and locations vary so check the site

CAIS 11th Annual Summer Technology Conference
June 18-22, Farmington, CT

Lausanne Collegiate School Laptop Institute
July 15-17, Memphis, TN

Building Learning Communities
pre-conf: July 16-17;  main conf: July 16-17, Boston (Newton, actually), MA

CAST conference - Universal Design for Learning (applicable to both
technology and the brain)
July 23-26, just north of Boston, MA

Teach the Teachers Collaborative

National Educational Computing Conference
June 24-27 Atlanta, Georgia

Logo Summer Institute
July 30 - August 3 New York, New York

The Stonington Retreat
July 31 - August 3 New York, New York

Photography Workshops and Digital Lab Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mapping Literary Journeys: Google Lit Trips

There's a new post up at the Infinite Thinking Machine that focuses on the new project of my fellow Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, Jerome Burg. Jerome has instituted a project called Google Lit Trips, which are essentially guided tours of resources related to books within Google Earth. Check it out and consider making a lit trip of your own to submit to this site!

I have an idea for a collaborative Google Lit Trip that I'll post here later!