Sunday, September 10, 2017

Preparing for the Google Innovator Academy! #SWE17

Ten days ago, I received one of the most exciting emails of my life!

This is the second time I've applied to the Google Education Innovator Program- my first application for #LON17 was unsuccessful. So, I was THRILLED and SPEECHLESS when I read the subject line. I couldn't wait to dive in and learn as much as possible about what's in store for me in October at #SWE17. Ironically enough, I was in the process of making Swedish meatballs for dinner when the email came.

Above all, I'm humbled and honored to join this elite community of educators! If you're interested in seeing my application, check out my vision video and my vision deck.

The Innovator Program already had several avenues of communication set up for our group- a Google Hangout, a Google Group, and a Google Classroom. Most of us jumped right in on the Hangout and haven't stopped talking since- we're talking travel plans, rooming together for the academy, what we need to bring and more! The Innovator Program also put together a Hangout On Air so we could introduce ourselves in real time. I can't wait to meet the rest of the #SWE17 Cohort in person!

Then, a few nights ago, we each got a mysterious email containing a game piece.

Game on, indeed! When you have 36 people on six different continents, each with a different piece of the puzzle, it really takes some collaboration. Very quickly, collaborative documents were put together and shared. One, a Google Doc with a table where everyone could list their name and insert an image of their card. Another was a Google Slides document with an interactive chess board. Each of us attacked this great puzzle in our own way, but working in a collaborative document we were able to see what everyone was doing. We were able to ask questions and discuss our lines of thought.

It took us about 24 hours, and we were able to complete the puzzle, even without having all the pieces. What we ended up with was a URL and a password that led to......

ANOTHER CLUE. That one didn't take us nearly as long to figure out, and in short order, we gained entry to our pre-Academy assignment, which involves these fun Breakout Boxes from BreakoutEdu. I haven't gotten mine yet, but another person in the cohort shared a picture of his:

I can't wait to get mine so I can start working on my assignment for the academy! I also can't wait to start seeing how I can use the Breakout Box for some fun Professional Development activities!

I also really love how Google is already engaging us in the 4 Cs- communicate, collaborate, think critically, and create- before we even step foot in the Stockholm office. It's already building a sense of community and "team" and even familiarity among those of us in our Cohort, so we can hopefully dive right in to the really important work of learning when we arrive.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about the Google Education Innovator Program and following my adventure, keep an eye here for more posts!

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