Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Google Teacher Academy Southeast Asia 2014 - Application Made Simple

The applications for the first Google Teacher Academy (GTA) in Southeast Asia opened over a week ago and Bluekore, the GTA organizer, has been assailed with questions ever since. The review team processing the entries have found that certain parts of the application are giving the applicants some difficulty, so it would be helpful to go through the application page by page to see what teachers need to prepare in order to submit a complete application.

First things first. Where do I apply?

The link to the application can be found here.  Or you can just go to gg.gg/gtasea2014.

This is a multi-page application, and it requires you to prepare some responses beforehand. 

1. The first page contains information about the GTA, and already includes the note that the required one-minute video must be prepared beforehand because there is no way of saving your application in progress.

2. Continue to the second page to tell the review team about your basic details. It will ask you for your Gmail address, so make sure you have one! If your school has already gone Google, you can use your email address there because that is effectively a Google account.
It will also ask you for the website of your school or organization, so make sure to have that handy.

3. The third page contains only one question: your current job title.

4. The fourth page asks for a link to your résumé. Ensure that it's just one (1) page and that it is shared via Google Docs. (Waves Hand: This is the résumé we are looking for:)
We are looking for a résumé that will help show why you would be a great Google Certified Teacher. Edit your old résumé to highlight any relevant experience, certifications, accolades, awards and associations. Please share your one page resume via a Google Doc.
Alright! You're 50% done. On to the fifth page.

5. The fifth page is devoted to School and Community Reach. It asks for statistics on how many teachers and students are in your school/organization, the number of conferences you present to each year as well as trainings/presentations that you conduct yearly. It will also ask for your Google+ Profile URL, so make sure you're in there because it's a required question. If you have a Twitter and blog page, make sure to post this also, because every bit of info about you helps!

6. It's time to showcase your Google Experience! If you have taken any certification exams, just indicate it here. It's not a requirement, but it's nice to have. If you're up for it, you can take the Google Online Basics Exam here. It's free, is 30 items, you get a certificate after, and if you've been using Google Apps, it will be a breeze to pass!

7. So it's not all basic details. Now, you get to showcase your essay skills on page number seven! There are two questions that you have to answer. Make sure to limit your answer to 800 characters max. There are only two questions, and don't worry, there's no MATH. 
  • Tell us about how you've navigated ambiguity or hardship
  • Tell us about what inspires you to be a part of the Google Certified Teacher program
Don't be afraid to give your real-life experiences to answer these questions. Inspire!!!

8. And now....dun dun dunnnnn....the much-awaited...Google Teacher Academy Video! To be clear on the instructions, I've copied and pasted it below:
Create an original one minute video on the following topic: "How do you innovate in the classroom or educational community to generate positive change?” This video is a very important part of your application. We're specifically looking for educators that creatively address the specific topic listed above. You do not need to be in the video, but the task is designed to demonstrate your resourcefulness, your commitment, and your unique personality and interests.
Here is an example video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdTnNv2PDr4

Paste the URL of your video in the field. The review team will not accept videos by email and will not watch for more than a minute, so make that video count! 
You are also asked if there is anything special the reviewers need to know about your video.

9. You're almost done. The ninth page is just to type your full name as your digital signature to certify the information is accurate, true and original.

Whew!!!! That's it! 

A pat on the back (or chocolate ice cream) is in order to celebrate your completing this application. 

If you still have any questions about the GTA application, you may email them at bluekore@googleteacheracademy.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.google.com/edu/programs/google-teacher-academy/.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is coming to Southeast Asia!

The Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is finally coming to Southeast Asia! Applications are now open and the deadline to apply is August 29th at 11:59 PM (SGT). Preference will be given to in-region applicants.
You may also go to http://goo.gl/TKiZ86 to apply. 

The Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each GTA is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.
We are excited to be part of this momentous event and invite all our star teachers in the region to apply. We will be posting tips here on how to apply so watch out for updates on this page!

Google Teacher Academy SEA

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stars in the Education Community

For the last four years, the work I've done along Google products - Google Apps, Google Maps, and Google Earth - has slowly moved me from its applications in work and business, to its roots and usage in education.

Living in a developing country like the Philippines and interacting with educators all over the country has made me realize what the challenges are in using technology in the classroom.

Strangely enough, we are not as far from advancement as we originally thought. When I go to schools to speak about flipping the classroom, and the changing way that students must be taught using technology, it pleasantly surprises me that in these schools, there is always a champion.

There is always a star teacher.

This is that someone who is willing to sacrifice their personal time to attend professional development programs geared towards advancing a teacher's knowledge in better adjusting towards the children's digital nativeness. This is that teacher, who, despite the challenge of low bandwidth, is able to teach and utilize new tools like social media to have a better reach and understanding of their student's needs.

This is that teacher who is willing to invest of themselves in order to build a constantly improving educator community.

This is the kind of teacher we look for. The kind of teacher that drives me and my team to go out there and teach educational technology and web tools.

One day, we in Bluekore dream of finding the Philippines in the forefront of using these tools in the region. We dream that one day, these star teachers that we discover and connect with...will shine.