My GTA Chicago Adventure

As predicted, it was wonderful and way too fast. I could go through every moment, but I don't want to bore any reader to death. Thought I would just run through some of the highlights:

  • David Jakes: This is my first opportunity to hear him speak in person. It was so inspiring to hear about the leaders, rebels, and troublemakers. This commercial from Apple really made you reflect about what it means to think differently.

  • Steve Dembo: His energy is contagious! He asked the crowd to raise their hand if they felt behind after the first rotation of learning Google tools. Most raised their hand and he made a good point. We felt behind, but we are miles ahead of our colleagues. Those colleagues that want to learn PowerPoint and won't check their email.

  • Google Tool Presenters: An amazing group that worked hard to create a quality presentation even though the time to present was too short.

  • Those that work at the Google Offices in Chicago: they were so cool about being on display in front of a group of teachers in awe of their environment.

  • GTA cohort: this was an amazing group of teachers that are true innovators. I wonder what is would be like to work in building with educators like Carol Broos, Scott Meech, and Cindy Lane? I would have nothing to complain about again.


  • Too short! I would have loved to have the time that I did at the DEN National Institute to explore and create with these amazing teachers.

  • That I had to come home!


The Rollercoaster Ride has begun!

I think I am starting to feel a little queasy from all of the highs and lows of the technology rollercoaster in my school. The school year started out on a high with the support from the administration on the push for technology and the promise of the school's first technology day. Before planning could even start, the world dropped out from under me.

Still waiting to come out of the dark tunnel of the new Student Information System. There is not a day goes by that I am not dealing with a SIS question. I began my first Tech Tuesday where I open the lab after school to help staff members. While I was glad some came, all of the issues were with adding assignments and grades in the new system. I want to help with lesson plans, teach how to use the mobile lab, develop a student project, or a playground to try out new websites.

In July, I had a talk with my principal while at the DEN National Institute about making the first professional development of the school year a technology day. That was gone within weeks without the principal even talking to me. Of course I charge ahead looking for another opportunity and got one in a Google session for next Friday, just a couple of days after the Google Teacher's Academy in Chicago. At least for now that is the plan.

Then there is the new state technology test for all seventh graders. A test I know little or nothing about. A test that I dread because I might lose the freedom I currently have in my classroom after years of teaching in areas that are tested. Online testing in this area and others is going to push me out of my own lab and the administration seems not to care.

The uncertainty of this ride is bringing on a certain amount of anxiety. I think for now I am going to close my eyes and raise my hands in the air, so I can enjoy the high of the Google Teachers Academy.