Prior to the start of this school year, teachers in my district participated in two days of professional development. On the second day, I was supposed to co-present on unique ways in which Google tools can be used in the classroom. Unfortunately, other segments of the professional development ran longer than expected, and my presentation did not take place. (Nonetheless, there was time for me to show Tony Wagner’s TEDx Talk from last April.) Throughout the course of the year, I hope to present the Google information across various faculty meetings. Here is a quick snapshot of the material.
On April 4th and 5th, I attended this year’s Google Teacher Academy (GTA), which was held at the Google office in London, England.
“The Google Teacher Academy is a free professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event [with an optional second day] where participants get hands-on experience with Google's free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.”
Recently, my Pinball Wizard project was chosen as the Grand Prize winner for the Primary/Secondary Cross-Curricular category in the Adobe Education Exchange 2011 Educators' Choice Awards. This is a contest that features innovative teaching and learning materials, which are created with the help of Adobe products. Many of the teachers in my district and students at my school helped to support me in this endeavor, and I cannot thank them enough. As a result of the contest, I have won a 15-inch MacBook Pro (which I am typing on right now) and the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection (which I am still waiting for in the mail). Also, after the contest, the PR manager from Adobe contacted me about doing an interview with one of their bloggers. The interview can be found here.
Below is a description of the Pinball Wizard project. This description was a part of my entry, along with the project’s website, student samples, and a video of students playing on their pinball machines.