#gtauk – a quick reflection
Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Author:

Wow. I want to reflect. I want to share what I learnt. I want to go and have a play with the tools. But where to begin?

The Google Teacher Academy is CPD like I’ve never seen before. My training courses can be quick, but nothing like this. We covered things in 45minutes if we were lucky, sometimes things were covered in seconds. Breaks were often 5minutes. The beauty of it is that everything is available online for everyone to go and check out later. It will take days to go through it all! The resources are here: http://www.cue.org/gtauk

The whole experience was incredible, from meeting people I’d only met on Twitter to meeting brand new people I’d never heard of before. The main thing for me was learning so much new stuff. I always thought I knew how to use Google and I knew enough to get by. I barely scratch the surface at the moment. We were shown features we had never known existed and new ways to use the things we thought we already knew.I’ll share two for now.

Who else has their lunch menu on a Google calendar? This was an idea from Danny Silva. Create an event that shares the menu, get this event to tweet out the choices for dinner and then use Twitter’s RSS feed to embed this on your website. This means parents can follow your lunch choices on the school website, via Twitter or through the Google calendar if they have access. Fab idea.

Random idea of the day came from Ronald Ho who presented via Video conference. Ronald was amazing and made spreadsheets fun. Yep, fun. Although there were many useful tips he shared, my favourite was the random stuff feature (my name for it). Simply write 3 objects in three cells e.g. apple, banana, pineapple. Then hold CTRL and drag the corner to extend the cells. You’d normally write 1,2,3 and dragging would give 4,5,6 etc. With fruits, it then gives you a selection of random fruit. Ronald showed that it works for US States and European countries but I tested it with UK counties and that worked too. Fab feature! When combined with Google lookup, you can collect population, size and other data too.

All-in-all a fantastic day and it will take me the rest of the summer to digest and blog it all.Thanks to everyone at Google and for @tombarrett for gently-nagging Google to make it all possible.