Just a quick post to say that there will be another Google Teacher Academy in the UK this year. Full details can be found here: http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html but it is well worth applying. I found it to be a full-on day of innovation, enthusiasm and ideas with some of the best teachers in the country.I loved every second of it and I would urge you to apply if you get chance.
Edit: It’s cringeworthy now, but here is my video from two years ago…I must say that I wasn’t going to apply and it wasn’t until the last minute (literally completing it with half an hour to spare) that I finished my video. I had intended using Animoto for a 60second video until I realised that my account only gave me 30 seconds so I needed to make a few and chop them together. The video is painful to watch, but it got me in, so I must have done something right?!?
I wrote last year about my predictions and plans for 2010 and looking back, it seemed like I only planned for the first few months of the year! I talked about Bett, which is always a highlight, our Hampshire VLE conference and the need to look for another job. All that happened of course but so much more besides! So what was I busy doing this year?
Yes, I attended Bett and yes I attended Teachmeet. I went first and presented on the use of Voki, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Since that first Teachmeet in January 2010, I have now organised Teachmeet Hants along with Gideon Wiliams as well as supporting others including Bev Evans and Tim Hand as they organise their own Teachmeets. I have presented via video at many more throughout the year. As we come to the end of 2010, I am in the midst of organising the big one, Bett 2011. Quite a huge jump within a year! Looking ahead, the next Teachmeet Hampshire will happen soon. Hopefully before Easter but I need to speak to some people and find some venues. Yep, venues. Hampshire is massive so hopefully we will have one in the north and one in the south to keep people happy.
This time last year I didn’t even know what a Google Teacher was and now I am one. It was a great achievement and I was honoured to attend. Thanks again to Tom Barrett. Also this year I attended the Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum and was very happy to see @ideas_factory and @deputymitchell honoured for their amazing work.
I finished my contract with the local authority and am now back in school. It was a great two year post and I enjoyed it. I hope the work I did, along with my fellow consultants, will have a big impact on the schools and children within Hampshire. But things move on and I’ve been in my school a term now and it’s crazy to think of what we’ve achieved already with 40,000+ blog views and 13,000 to our school website just since September. This is fantastic and I am truly amazed. I have big plans for next year in school and I will blog about those tomorrow.
I have also been involved in the Vital Primary ICT Forum for the past few months along with @colport. This is a great area for sharing practice with other professionals and trying to help in the crazy world of ICT. I have also been helping when possible with UKedchat and this has become a huge event each week for teachers to share ideas and discuss key topics within school.
Personal stuff (aka the important bits)
We moved house in January and we’re all settled, a friend commented that it looks like we’ve been here forever as it looks perfect. Which is a good thing. Other than that, we got engaged in the Summer so now have a 2012 wedding to prepare for!
Oh, do you remember my post about the Google Teacher Academy? Well Iwas lucky enough to get an email on Friday to say that I have a place at the academy. I was very shocked as there are some amazing people that didn’t get in! Also, my video could have been better, but I guess I did something right to convince them I was worthy. Looking at the list, there are people from the US, Africa and India!
So what does it mean? I have no idea! Someone asked me if it was about showing teachers how to search using Google and another asked if it was a competition and if I still had to beat the other 49 applicants! I don’t think it’s either. It’s more about collaboration, creative thinking and exploring potential.
I know it will be a long, fantastic day working with some people I have met briefly such as @mattlovegrove or @tombarrett and some people I talk to and admire but haven’t met, such as @deputymitchell and @dajbelshaw. It should be a very exciting day full of opportunities and potential and I know that we will all be sharing our learning with you after the event
Well…I’ve learnt something from applying for the Google Teacher Academy, make sure you give yourself enough time to reach a deadline. The deadline was a few hours ago and I left my video and application form until last night.
Why? Well a mixture of being busy, enjoying TeachMeet Blackpool and doubting whether I’d even get it meant that I kept putting it off. But then the thought of regret sets in. If I don’t go for it, I’ll definitely not get it. You’ve got to throw your hat in the ring to be considered.
So what is the Google Teacher Academy? It’s a chance to make a change and be one of only 50 teachers in EUROPE that are given the tools to help others be creative and collaborative. Tom Barrett has been campaigning about this for ages.
So the task was to fill out an application form and create a 1minute video, stating bits about your history, how you help develop others and talking about obstacles that you have managed to overcome. It was hard filling this out, I’m coming to the end of two years training hundreds of teachers and will soon be back in the classroom fulltime. So my application contains a mixture of both jobs, I’ve certainly learnt an enormous amount training teachers, but I can’t wait to get back into the classroom.
Technically, I thought the video would be straightforward. I though Animoto was the answer. I signed in with the intention of uploading screenshots of various bits of tech and then commentating over them. Then I found out my education account hasn’t been renewed, so my videos were limited to 30 (nearer 24) seconds in length. So I made 3.
This is when I learnt that you can’t download 30-second videos, but you can export them to Youtube. Maybe if I export them all to Youtube, I can splice them together to make one video? Genius. Youtube downloads as MP4, Movie Maker doesn’t like MP4. Zamzar came to the rescue, letting me convert the videos into AVI/WMV. So I chucked them into Movie Maker, edited the Animoto credit out of video 1 and 2 (leaving it on video 3 at the end, having it appear 3times would’ve looked a bit odd) and tried saving. Save failed. Try again. Failed. Oops. After a lot of messing about, still no luck and it’s 11:45pm.
Luckily Google came to the resuce, (irony maybe?) and I found an MP4 editor instead and just edited the original MP4s together. Finally finished and all uploaded just after midnight. A 45minute job taking 4 hours.
So, the video is not the best it could be. I should’ve checked my Animoto account before trying it, but hey, in my opinion it’s better than some of the others I’ve seen so that’s got to be a good thing! Will I get invited to the Academy? Who knows, but at least I’ve given it a shot.
Remember, if you never try, you will never succeed.