As you may know, there is a Google Innovator Academy happening in Toronto in just over a month. If you’re interested in Google Apps for Education and have an interesting project that you would like to propose I would really encourage you to apply. The deadline is August 30th!
I applied to the #MTV16 cohort for the Google Innovator Academy in Mountainview, CA in February 2016 with my idea of creating an Ojibwe Keyboard layout that would allow students to be able to type in Ojibwe syllabics. Unfortunately, I was not accepted.
It was a tough week when I found out because I really believed this project was important. So I decided to continue on with the project, and with the help of some students and teachers, we successfully created a keyboard layout for Macs and OSX.
This pushed me to re-apply for the next round.
I was fortunate enough to be accepted and I attended the most recent Academy that was held in Boulder, Colorado at the end of June this year after having my project proposal accepted and it was such a rewarding experience, I can’t say enough about the program, the people and how great it was to be immersed in the Google culture for three days of learning.
It is difficult to fully describe what attending this program is like. There is so much going on during the three days, I just tried to absorb as much as I possibly could.
The list of people who were running our program and presenting our sessions was an A-list of people involved with GAFE. The program Managers included Becky Evans from Google, Mark Wagner – CEO of EdTechTeam, as well as Wendy Gorton, and Michelle Armstrong also from EdTechTeam. In addition the team coaches were Sarah Thomas (Team Quiet Storm!), Jennie Magiera, Molly Schroeder, James Sanders, Kern Kelly, and Sergio Villegas. In addition to that we had numerous guest speakers from Google talk to us live and via video conference throughout our three day session. And that doesn’t even cover the expertise within the #COL16 cohort, each of whom bring their own passion and specialties to the group.
Here are some of my favourite moments during the Academy:
- On the first night we were split into groups where we each presented a personalized BreakoutEDU session to get to know each other.
It was a great ice breaker and a great way to get to know some of the people right off the bat. Our groups also competed to complete a Breakout session on the BreakoutEDU bus that was brought onsite. Our group got the best time!
- Our group spent lots of time before going to Colorado getting to know one another, reading about our respective projects and also creating some #COL16 swag for us. On the last day, we all wore our #COL16 T-shirts with our own logo that we designed and the word family written in the various languages that represent our group. We then presented our leaders with their own shirts, stickers and tattoos as a final surprise.
- Canada Day! It’s great recognizing Canada Day and spending it with Canadian friends!
- The people.
When you spend three full, action packed days with a group of people with similar interests: you are bound to make meaningful, lifetime relationships. It was great meeting and working with everyone involved in this program. I can’t wait to see everyone again!
With the Academy now over and after leaving Boulder on July 2nd, we are all now completing our Innovator Projects. I will be posting updates with respect to my project throughout the year.
If you’re interested in becoming a Google Innovator I strongly encourage you to apply. Contact me anytime for more info!