Author Archives: Melissa Horwitz

Updates from ISTE: new tools to empower our future explorers and digital citizens

Editor's note: This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference in San Antonio. Follow along here and on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Technology is transforming how students learn and the skills they need to succeed.


Today at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, we’ll be highlighting new tools and programs built to empower students to explore, build and think critically as active learners. Look out for a deeper dive on each of these announcements on the blog throughout this week.

Students as inventors and explorers

  • Recently we announced a new browser-based version of Google Earth that makes it easier than ever for teachers to bring the world into the classroom using Chromebooks. Today we are excited to introduce 10 new stories in Google Earth Voyager, our new storytelling platform, built specifically for the classroom. We collaborated with National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue to create beautiful, curated Voyager stories which offer students a new perspective on the world. We’re also unveiling new classroom activities for teachers to get started today. This week, Google Earth will become an additional service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin panel.

[edu] earth alamo.png

Google Earth knowledge card of the Alamo, not far from the ISTE 2017 conference!


  • We’re always looking to highlight great educational content on Chromebooks that can be seamlessly integrated into the classroom, while also fostering skills of the future. Today we’re announcing a collection of STEM tools for Chromebooks -- Dremel 3D40 3D Printer and littleBits Code Kit -- that schools can purchase at a bundle discount from their Chromebook reseller. These tools bring engineering into the classroom and help students become inventors.


  • Coming soon, the Expeditions app for Cardboard and Daydream will offer a self-guided mode so anyone can access more than 600 virtual field trips on their own. Students and teachers will be able to pick an adventure to anywhere—from the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall of China—and see details on points of interest highlighted on cards. We hope that this encourages exploration and personal education, making it easy to learn using virtual reality.

Students as critical thinkers and responsible digital citizens

  • In addition to the bundle of STEM tools announced above, we are offering a discounted bundle of media literacy apps on Chromebooks, Scrible and eSpark Frontier. The tools are designed to support students as they research and write using contemporary online information and help students form opinions about the media they consume.


[edu] Be Internet Awesome - Animation.gif

Impact Portraits paint a picture of school success with Chromebooks and G Suite

Today, we’re sharing seven new Impact Portraits from school districts across the U.S. The districts range in size and demographics from Florida’s Brevard County, which covers a diverse coastal area with 73,000 students, to upstate New York’s Amherst Central, with 2,944 students.


One thing these schools have in common: they're using Chromebooks and G Suite to drive measurable improvements in everything from reading skills to AP diploma graduation rates. In the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, for example, Indiana’s measure of third grade reading skills has grown by 10% since adopting Chromebooks. Check out g.co/EduImpact to find all of the Impact Portraits, and stay tuned for a closer look at the collection later this week.


The school districts whose Impact Portraits we’re sharing today include:

Look out for a deeper dive on each of these updates on our Keyword blog throughout this week. If you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 in the expo hall. And check out our teaching theater sessions—taking place in room #214D—where educators and Googlers will be giving short presentations throughout the conference.

Source: Education


Updates from ISTE: new tools to empower our future explorers and digital citizens

Editor's note: This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference in San Antonio. Follow along here and on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Technology is transforming how students learn and the skills they need to succeed.


Today at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, we’ll be highlighting new tools and programs built to empower students to explore, build and think critically as active learners. Look out for a deeper dive on each of these announcements on the blog throughout this week.

Students as inventors and explorers

  • Recently we announced a new browser-based version of Google Earth that makes it easier than ever for teachers to bring the world into the classroom using Chromebooks. Today we are excited to introduce 10 new stories in Google Earth Voyager, our new storytelling platform, built specifically for the classroom. We collaborated with National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue to create beautiful, curated Voyager stories which offer students a new perspective on the world. We’re also unveiling new classroom activities for teachers to get started today. This week, Google Earth will become an additional service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin panel.

[edu] earth alamo.png

Google Earth knowledge card of the Alamo, not far from the ISTE 2017 conference!


  • We’re always looking to highlight great educational content on Chromebooks that can be seamlessly integrated into the classroom, while also fostering skills of the future. Today we’re announcing a collection of STEM tools for Chromebooks -- Dremel 3D40 3D Printer and littleBits Code Kit -- that schools can purchase at a bundle discount from their Chromebook reseller. These tools bring engineering into the classroom and help students become inventors.


  • Coming soon, the Expeditions app for Cardboard and Daydream will offer a self-guided mode so anyone can access more than 600 virtual field trips on their own. Students and teachers will be able to pick an adventure to anywhere—from the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall of China—and see details on points of interest highlighted on cards. We hope that this encourages exploration and personal education, making it easy to learn using virtual reality.

Students as critical thinkers and responsible digital citizens

  • In addition to the bundle of STEM tools announced above, we are offering a discounted bundle of media literacy apps on Chromebooks, Scrible and eSpark Frontier. The tools are designed to support students as they research and write using contemporary online information and help students form opinions about the media they consume.


Impact Portraits paint a picture of school success with Chromebooks and G Suite

Today, we’re sharing seven new Impact Portraits from school districts across the U.S. The districts range in size and demographics from Florida’s Brevard County, which covers a diverse coastal area with 73,000 students, to upstate New York’s Amherst Central, with 2,944 students.


One thing these schools have in common: they're using Chromebooks and G Suite to drive measurable improvements in everything from reading skills to AP diploma graduation rates. In the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, for example, Indiana’s measure of third grade reading skills has grown by 10% since adopting Chromebooks. Check out g.co/EduImpact to find all of the Impact Portraits, and stay tuned for a closer look at the collection later this week.


The school districts whose Impact Portraits we’re sharing today include:

Look out for a deeper dive on each of these updates on our Keyword blog throughout this week. If you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 in the expo hall. And check out our teaching theater sessions—taking place in room #214D—where educators and Googlers will be giving short presentations throughout the conference.

Source: Education


How three teachers turned classroom inspiration into action through the Certified Innovator Program

Editor’s note: Teachers are always brainstorming creative ways to introduce technology and project-based learning into the classroom. Designed to challenge educators to pursue their creative ideas, the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program offers support for projects that improve education in schools around the world. Over 12 months, educators conduct research, solicit feedback from peers in their cohort and prototype their ideas. Today, we’re highlighting three teachers who participated in the Certified Innovator Program and are inspiring other educators to turn their ideas into action.

We are excited to announce the dates for the rest of the 2017 Innovation Academies, the kickoff to the program for each cohort. Applications are now open for our next Academy in Washington DC.

  • Washington DC, USA: August 2-4 [Apply Now]
  • Sydney, Australia: August 16-18
  • Stockholm, Sweden: October 4-6
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil: December 6-8

We recently spoke with three inspirational educators about their experience in the Innovator Program and the ideas they brought to life: Charlie Shryock, who created eThanks, an online gratitude site for teachers; Matt Wigdahl who designed a makerspace project called SolverSpace; and Carrie Anne Philbin who created Geek Gurl Diaries to inspire girls to pursue careers in the technical field.

Q: What inspired you to pursue your project?

Charlie: A few months before I was accepted into the program, I was talking with a colleague about the ‘invisible’ works she does — for example, mentoring a younger colleague in her own time. She isn’t compensated for this work, but does it because she’s passionate about helping others. For a while, I had been trying to find a way to acknowledge teachers for the amazing things they do.

The real moment I knew I had an idea worth pursuing was during a reflection exercise with my Certified Innovator Program cohort when we identified what we’re good at — I’m good at seeing the good in others. I was inspired to put that skill to good use. I spoke to Google employees and saw their enthusiasm for a tool called gThanks, an online site where people post messages of gratitude. That’s when I decided to adapt the idea for educators and created eThanks.

Matt: In science class students often learn by reading textbooks and listening to lectures, but they don’t have much choice in their science projects. I wanted students to explore science in a meaningful, engaging way with real life applications. I came up with the idea for SolverSpace, which is part makerspace and part badging system, as a way to bring innovative tools like 3D printers, time lapse cameras, lego robotics and sensors into the classroom.

Carrie Anne: In 2012 I noticed that the majority of students in my computer science class were boys; in a class of 26, only two were girls. I wanted to change the paradigm around women and technology by sharing the stories of women doing technical jobs. Then I met James Sanders [founder of Breakout EDU] who introduced me to educational videos on YouTube. That’s when I realized I could use YouTube to inspire girls to pursue STEM. I started interviewing women in computing, science, technology and engineering roles and featuring them on Geek Gurl Diaries to challenge their perceptions about traditionally geeky subjects.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway or learning from the Innovator Program?

Charlie: The check-in points and milestones made sure we were engaging in regular reflection about designing our projects. Without the program, this would have been a fun idea that I likely wouldn’t have acted on. Having accountability partners and mentors inspired me to create something that I would be proud to share with my cohort.

Matt: A turning point for me was when I talked to a couple people in my cohort about my idea and they said, “Have you thought about design thinking?”, which I had never heard of. After talking for 10 minutes, I instantly knew this concept would be central to my project. Had my cohort peers not exposed me to design thinking, I likely would have spent tons of time reinventing the wheel.

Q: What was your biggest learning once you launched your project back at your school?

Charlie: When I returned from the on-site program, I wanted to dive in, so I ran a summer pilot at my school. Immediately teachers started posting thank yous and more people were smiling on campus. The expressions of gratitude online encouraged people to say thanks in person too. That pilot period reinforced in my mind that you need to just start. I went into the program with a big, bold idea of transforming the culture of feedback in schools, and I realized I should start with a small part of the puzzle.

Carrie Anne: One of the biggest things I learned from this project was if you build it, people will come. I was passionate about creating this series of videos, but didn’t know if young girls would watch them. You have to have faith in your ideas. Now I get emails all the time from kids around the world saying they watched a video and were inspired. Their “thank you” emails make every moment of this project worthwhile.

Google Certified Innovator 3.jpg
Charlie working on a group activity with other members of his cohort during their Innovator Academy

Q: What advice do you have for educators who have innovative ideas and need help putting them into action?

Matt: Extend your arm to those in your community and great things will happen. When I started tweeting about the project, an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin responded and asked to partner his college students with my fifth grade students to work on projects and learn from each other. For example, our district occupational therapist asked our class to build a modified utensil for writing to help a student who doesn’t have full use of his wrist. Our students fully embraced the problem and worked together to come up with a solution.

Carrie Anne: Say yes and try new things. If you never try something, you’ll never know how it could have turned out. I could have failed hard and fast, but I was passionate about this project, so regardless of the result, I knew it was the right thing to do. Failing is a first attempt at learning. When I look back at the first videos I created, they had awful lighting and editing. But if I look at where I am today, I’m not only hosting Geek Gurl Diaries but also hosting computer science videos on CrashCourse.


Apply for the Washington DC Innovator Program cohort today or nominate an educator for a future cohort.

How three teachers turned classroom inspiration into action through the Certified Innovator Program

Editor’s note: Teachers are always brainstorming creative ways to introduce technology and project-based learning into the classroom. Designed to challenge educators to pursue their creative ideas, the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program offers support for projects that improve education in schools around the world. Over 12 months, educators conduct research, solicit feedback from peers in their cohort and prototype their ideas. Today, we’re highlighting three teachers who participated in the Certified Innovator Program and are inspiring other educators to turn their ideas into action.

We are excited to announce the dates for the rest of the 2017 Innovation Academies, the kickoff to the program for each cohort. Applications are now open for our next Academy in Washington DC.

  • Washington DC, USA: August 2-4 [Apply Now]
  • Sydney, Australia: August 16-18
  • Stockholm, Sweden: October 4-6
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil: December 6-8

We recently spoke with three inspirational educators about their experience in the Innovator Program and the ideas they brought to life: Charlie Shryock, who created eThanks, an online gratitude site for teachers; Matt Wigdahl who designed a makerspace project called SolverSpace; and Carrie Anne Philbin who created Geek Gurl Diaries to inspire girls to pursue careers in the technical field.

Q: What inspired you to pursue your project?

Charlie: A few months before I was accepted into the program, I was talking with a colleague about the ‘invisible’ works she does — for example, mentoring a younger colleague in her own time. She isn’t compensated for this work, but does it because she’s passionate about helping others. For a while, I had been trying to find a way to acknowledge teachers for the amazing things they do.

The real moment I knew I had an idea worth pursuing was during a reflection exercise with my Certified Innovator Program cohort when we identified what we’re good at — I’m good at seeing the good in others. I was inspired to put that skill to good use. I spoke to Google employees and saw their enthusiasm for a tool called gThanks, an online site where people post messages of gratitude. That’s when I decided to adapt the idea for educators and created eThanks.

Matt: In science class students often learn by reading textbooks and listening to lectures, but they don’t have much choice in their science projects. I wanted students to explore science in a meaningful, engaging way with real life applications. I came up with the idea for SolverSpace, which is part makerspace and part badging system, as a way to bring innovative tools like 3D printers, time lapse cameras, lego robotics and sensors into the classroom.

Carrie Anne: In 2012 I noticed that the majority of students in my computer science class were boys; in a class of 26, only two were girls. I wanted to change the paradigm around women and technology by sharing the stories of women doing technical jobs. Then I met James Sanders [founder of Breakout EDU] who introduced me to educational videos on YouTube. That’s when I realized I could use YouTube to inspire girls to pursue STEM. I started interviewing women in computing, science, technology and engineering roles and featuring them on Geek Gurl Diaries to challenge their perceptions about traditionally geeky subjects.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway or learning from the Innovator Program?

Charlie: The check-in points and milestones made sure we were engaging in regular reflection about designing our projects. Without the program, this would have been a fun idea that I likely wouldn’t have acted on. Having accountability partners and mentors inspired me to create something that I would be proud to share with my cohort.

Matt: A turning point for me was when I talked to a couple people in my cohort about my idea and they said, “Have you thought about design thinking?”, which I had never heard of. After talking for 10 minutes, I instantly knew this concept would be central to my project. Had my cohort peers not exposed me to design thinking, I likely would have spent tons of time reinventing the wheel.

Q: What was your biggest learning once you launched your project back at your school?

Charlie: When I returned from the on-site program, I wanted to dive in, so I ran a summer pilot at my school. Immediately teachers started posting thank yous and more people were smiling on campus. The expressions of gratitude online encouraged people to say thanks in person too. That pilot period reinforced in my mind that you need to just start. I went into the program with a big, bold idea of transforming the culture of feedback in schools, and I realized I should start with a small part of the puzzle.

Carrie Anne: One of the biggest things I learned from this project was if you build it, people will come. I was passionate about creating this series of videos, but didn’t know if young girls would watch them. You have to have faith in your ideas. Now I get emails all the time from kids around the world saying they watched a video and were inspired. Their “thank you” emails make every moment of this project worthwhile.

Google Certified Innovator 3.jpg
Charlie working on a group activity with other members of his cohort during their Innovator Academy

Q: What advice do you have for educators who have innovative ideas and need help putting them into action?

Matt: Extend your arm to those in your community and great things will happen. When I started tweeting about the project, an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin responded and asked to partner his college students with my fifth grade students to work on projects and learn from each other. For example, our district occupational therapist asked our class to build a modified utensil for writing to help a student who doesn’t have full use of his wrist. Our students fully embraced the problem and worked together to come up with a solution.

Carrie Anne: Say yes and try new things. If you never try something, you’ll never know how it could have turned out. I could have failed hard and fast, but I was passionate about this project, so regardless of the result, I knew it was the right thing to do. Failing is a first attempt at learning. When I look back at the first videos I created, they had awful lighting and editing. But if I look at where I am today, I’m not only hosting Geek Gurl Diaries but also hosting computer science videos on CrashCourse.


Apply for the Washington DC Innovator Program cohort today or nominate an educator for a future cohort.

Source: Education


How three teachers turned classroom inspiration into action through the Certified Innovator Program

Editor’s note: Teachers are always brainstorming creative ways to introduce technology and project-based learning into the classroom. Designed to challenge educators to pursue their creative ideas, the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program offers support for projects that improve education in schools around the world. Over 12 months, educators conduct research, solicit feedback from peers in their cohort and prototype their ideas. Today, we’re highlighting three teachers who participated in the Certified Innovator Program and are inspiring other educators to turn their ideas into action.

We are excited to announce the dates for the rest of the 2017 Innovation Academies, the kickoff to the program for each cohort. Applications are now open for our next Academy in Washington DC.

  • Washington DC, USA: August 2-4 [Apply Now]
  • Sydney, Australia: August 16-18
  • Stockholm, Sweden: October 4-6
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil: December 6-8

We recently spoke with three inspirational educators about their experience in the Innovator Program and the ideas they brought to life: Charlie Shryock, who created eThanks, an online gratitude site for teachers; Matt Wigdahl who designed a makerspace project called SolverSpace; and Carrie Anne Philbin who created Geek Gurl Diaries to inspire girls to pursue careers in the technical field.

Q: What inspired you to pursue your project?

Charlie: A few months before I was accepted into the program, I was talking with a colleague about the ‘invisible’ works she does — for example, mentoring a younger colleague in her own time. She isn’t compensated for this work, but does it because she’s passionate about helping others. For a while, I had been trying to find a way to acknowledge teachers for the amazing things they do.

The real moment I knew I had an idea worth pursuing was during a reflection exercise with my Certified Innovator Program cohort when we identified what we’re good at — I’m good at seeing the good in others. I was inspired to put that skill to good use. I spoke to Google employees and saw their enthusiasm for a tool called gThanks, an online site where people post messages of gratitude. That’s when I decided to adapt the idea for educators and created eThanks.

Matt: In science class students often learn by reading textbooks and listening to lectures, but they don’t have much choice in their science projects. I wanted students to explore science in a meaningful, engaging way with real life applications. I came up with the idea for SolverSpace, which is part makerspace and part badging system, as a way to bring innovative tools like 3D printers, time lapse cameras, lego robotics and sensors into the classroom.

Carrie Anne: In 2012 I noticed that the majority of students in my computer science class were boys; in a class of 26, only two were girls. I wanted to change the paradigm around women and technology by sharing the stories of women doing technical jobs. Then I met James Sanders [founder of Breakout EDU] who introduced me to educational videos on YouTube. That’s when I realized I could use YouTube to inspire girls to pursue STEM. I started interviewing women in computing, science, technology and engineering roles and featuring them on Geek Gurl Diaries to challenge their perceptions about traditionally geeky subjects.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway or learning from the Innovator Program?

Charlie: The check-in points and milestones made sure we were engaging in regular reflection about designing our projects. Without the program, this would have been a fun idea that I likely wouldn’t have acted on. Having accountability partners and mentors inspired me to create something that I would be proud to share with my cohort.

Matt: A turning point for me was when I talked to a couple people in my cohort about my idea and they said, “Have you thought about design thinking?”, which I had never heard of. After talking for 10 minutes, I instantly knew this concept would be central to my project. Had my cohort peers not exposed me to design thinking, I likely would have spent tons of time reinventing the wheel.

Q: What was your biggest learning once you launched your project back at your school?

Charlie: When I returned from the on-site program, I wanted to dive in, so I ran a summer pilot at my school. Immediately teachers started posting thank yous and more people were smiling on campus. The expressions of gratitude online encouraged people to say thanks in person too. That pilot period reinforced in my mind that you need to just start. I went into the program with a big, bold idea of transforming the culture of feedback in schools, and I realized I should start with a small part of the puzzle.

Carrie Anne: One of the biggest things I learned from this project was if you build it, people will come. I was passionate about creating this series of videos, but didn’t know if young girls would watch them. You have to have faith in your ideas. Now I get emails all the time from kids around the world saying they watched a video and were inspired. Their “thank you” emails make every moment of this project worthwhile.

Google Certified Innovator 3.jpg
Charlie working on a group activity with other members of his cohort during their Innovator Academy

Q: What advice do you have for educators who have innovative ideas and need help putting them into action?

Matt: Extend your arm to those in your community and great things will happen. When I started tweeting about the project, an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin responded and asked to partner his college students with my fifth grade students to work on projects and learn from each other. For example, our district occupational therapist asked our class to build a modified utensil for writing to help a student who doesn’t have full use of his wrist. Our students fully embraced the problem and worked together to come up with a solution.

Carrie Anne: Say yes and try new things. If you never try something, you’ll never know how it could have turned out. I could have failed hard and fast, but I was passionate about this project, so regardless of the result, I knew it was the right thing to do. Failing is a first attempt at learning. When I look back at the first videos I created, they had awful lighting and editing. But if I look at where I am today, I’m not only hosting Geek Gurl Diaries but also hosting computer science videos on CrashCourse.


Apply for the Washington DC Innovator Program cohort today or nominate an educator for a future cohort.

It takes a teacher to inspire and be inspired

Editor’s note: At Education on Air, Google’s free online conference tomorrow, December 3, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology.  During the event, Jennie Magiera will be moderating a live panel featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. Register now to hear from the panelists live tomorrow, December 3.

Magiera Headshot.JPG

Jennie Magiera

“Too often, teachers are the last people to sing their own praises, even though they’re constantly inspiring their students, their colleagues and their students’ parents, ” says Jennie Magiera, chief technology officer at Des Plaines School District 62. “We’ve all had at least one teacher who inspired us to become who we are today.”

Tomorrow, December 3, Jennie will be moderating a live panel during Education on Air featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. The panel will include:

  • Kevin Brookhouser, teacher at York School
  • Maria, Kevin’s student
  • Rafranz Davis, executive director of professional and digital learning at Lufkin ISD
  • Andrew, Rafranz’s student

Jennie shared a few questions with our panelists to learn more about the teachers who helped shape them into who they are today. To hear from the panelists live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

Jennie: Our theme for this panel is “It takes a teacher.” When you were a student, who inspired you and how?

kevin.jpg
Kevin Brookhouser

Kevin: I took a video writing class in high school with Jim Talone, who is now retired.  For our final project he asked us to go into the community and find stories that we would then produce and distribute to a real-world audience. This was the first time a teacher gave me creative autonomy, allowing me to pursue what I thought was meaningful and share that project with a real audience. It motivated me to invest more time and work harder than I had ever worked. That experience has stuck with me.

Rafranz: I was inspired by Dr. Vanessa Huse, a professor of  math education for pre-service teaching (education provided to student teachers). She was an important mentor to me and is still part of my life now. She was one of the only people who understood the struggles that I’d face as a teacher of color, even though she doesn’t come from the same background that I do. She made sure I had mentors who were veteran teachers — people I could learn from and collaborate with. She even introduced me to Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, the second African American woman to hold a degree in math. She invited Dr. Granville  to speak to our class and share her story. In many ways, Dr. Huse knew what I needed before I did.

Jennie: We couldn’t invite every teacher that inspires us to be on this panel, though I’m sure you would agree that we wish we could. If you could have brought along one colleague, who would you have picked?

Kevin: There are so many teachers I’d pick. The first colleague who comes to mind is our high school art teacher, Logan Parsons.  She has all of her students create self-portraits. She guides the students to think about how they want to portray themselves, whether in an abstract way or something more realistic. The results are unique and reflective of each individual. I’m inspired by how much students seem to get out of this project and from working with Logan.  

Rafranz.jpg
Rafranz Davis 

Rafranz: It’s so hard to pick one teacher! One of our first and second-grade teachers, Jamie Mayhan, stands out to me because she has such a passion for her students and really thinks outside of the box. She overcomes every challenge in her way. For example, she personally took on the cause of creating better access to technology for her students. She started a BYOD [bring your own device] program in her classroom, which required working with parents to get students devices. To make sure every student had access, she even gathered extra devices on her own by helping students to borrow devices from parents and coordinating device loans from digital learning department.

Jennie: We’ll be talking a lot about what it takes a teacher to do, but what does it take a student to do? How have your students inspired you?

Kevin: My students inspire me with their ability to take risks and try new things before they know whether they’ll succeed. Their willingness to experiment, learn new skills, and participate in new activities motivates me to do the same. That bravery is how real learning happens. I’m also inspired by my students who have a deep desire to help others. They request to work on projects that will  positively impact on other people. Their optimism and generosity gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Rafranz: We put a lot of emphasis on teaching kids grit and resilience to help them overcome adversity, but if we listen, we might be surprised to find out how much strength they already have. I’m inspired by our students who have come from difficult backgrounds — whether they were raised in poverty or affluence — and have been able to rise above challenges and pursue their dreams. Even though they may grow up with circumstances they can’t control, they show up to school and work hard, learn new things and think creatively.

To hear more from Jennie, Kevin and Rafranz live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

We invite you to join this movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher and seeing your own and others’ stories re-shared at google.com/edu/teacher.

Source: Education


It takes a teacher to inspire and be inspired

Editor’s note: At Education on Air, Google’s free online conference tomorrow, December 3, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology.  During the event, Jennie Magiera will be moderating a live panel featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. Register now to hear from the panelists live tomorrow, December 3.

Magiera Headshot.JPG

Jennie Magiera

“Too often, teachers are the last people to sing their own praises, even though they’re constantly inspiring their students, their colleagues and their students’ parents, ” says Jennie Magiera, chief technology officer at Des Plaines School District 62. “We’ve all had at least one teacher who inspired us to become who we are today.”

Tomorrow, December 3, Jennie will be moderating a live panel during Education on Air featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. The panel will include:

  • Kevin Brookhouser, teacher at York School
  • Maria, Kevin’s student
  • Rafranz Davis, executive director of professional and digital learning at Lufkin ISD
  • Andrew, Rafranz’s student

Jennie shared a few questions with our panelists to learn more about the teachers who helped shape them into who they are today. To hear from the panelists live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

Jennie: Our theme for this panel is “It takes a teacher.” When you were a student, who inspired you and how?

kevin.jpg
Kevin Brookhouser

Kevin: I took a video writing class in high school with Jim Talone, who is now retired.  For our final project he asked us to go into the community and find stories that we would then produce and distribute to a real-world audience. This was the first time a teacher gave me creative autonomy, allowing me to pursue what I thought was meaningful and share that project with a real audience. It motivated me to invest more time and work harder than I had ever worked. That experience has stuck with me.

Rafranz: I was inspired by Dr. Vanessa Huse, a professor of  math education for pre-service teaching (education provided to student teachers). She was an important mentor to me and is still part of my life now. She was one of the only people who understood the struggles that I’d face as a teacher of color, even though she doesn’t come from the same background that I do. She made sure I had mentors who were veteran teachers — people I could learn from and collaborate with. She even introduced me to Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, the second African American woman to hold a degree in math. She invited Dr. Granville  to speak to our class and share her story. In many ways, Dr. Huse knew what I needed before I did.

Jennie: We couldn’t invite every teacher that inspires us to be on this panel, though I’m sure you would agree that we wish we could. If you could have brought along one colleague, who would you have picked?

Kevin: There are so many teachers I’d pick. The first colleague who comes to mind is our high school art teacher, Logan Parsons.  She has all of her students create self-portraits. She guides the students to think about how they want to portray themselves, whether in an abstract way or something more realistic. The results are unique and reflective of each individual. I’m inspired by how much students seem to get out of this project and from working with Logan.  

Rafranz.jpg
Rafranz Davis 

Rafranz: It’s so hard to pick one teacher! One of our first and second-grade teachers, Jamie Mayhan, stands out to me because she has such a passion for her students and really thinks outside of the box. She overcomes every challenge in her way. For example, she personally took on the cause of creating better access to technology for her students. She started a BYOD [bring your own device] program in her classroom, which required working with parents to get students devices. To make sure every student had access, she even gathered extra devices on her own by helping students to borrow devices from parents and coordinating device loans from digital learning department.

Jennie: We’ll be talking a lot about what it takes a teacher to do, but what does it take a student to do? How have your students inspired you?

Kevin: My students inspire me with their ability to take risks and try new things before they know whether they’ll succeed. Their willingness to experiment, learn new skills, and participate in new activities motivates me to do the same. That bravery is how real learning happens. I’m also inspired by my students who have a deep desire to help others. They request to work on projects that will  positively impact on other people. Their optimism and generosity gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Rafranz: We put a lot of emphasis on teaching kids grit and resilience to help them overcome adversity, but if we listen, we might be surprised to find out how much strength they already have. I’m inspired by our students who have come from difficult backgrounds — whether they were raised in poverty or affluence — and have been able to rise above challenges and pursue their dreams. Even though they may grow up with circumstances they can’t control, they show up to school and work hard, learn new things and think creatively.

To hear more from Jennie, Kevin and Rafranz live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

We invite you to join this movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher and seeing your own and others’ stories re-shared at google.com/edu/teacher.

It takes a teacher to inspire and be inspired

Editor’s note: At Education on Air, Google’s free online conference tomorrow, December 3, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology.  During the event, Jennie Magiera will be moderating a live panel featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. Register now to hear from the panelists live tomorrow, December 3.

Magiera Headshot.JPG

Jennie Magiera

“Too often, teachers are the last people to sing their own praises, even though they’re constantly inspiring their students, their colleagues and their students’ parents, ” says Jennie Magiera, chief technology officer at Des Plaines School District 62. “We’ve all had at least one teacher who inspired us to become who we are today.”

Tomorrow, December 3, Jennie will be moderating a live panel during Education on Air featuring educators who have pioneered technology at their schools, along with two students who have benefited from these teachers’ work. The panel will include:

  • Kevin Brookhouser, teacher at York School
  • Maria, Kevin’s student
  • Rafranz Davis, executive director of professional and digital learning at Lufkin ISD
  • Andrew, Rafranz’s student

Jennie shared a few questions with our panelists to learn more about the teachers who helped shape them into who they are today. To hear from the panelists live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

Jennie: Our theme for this panel is “It takes a teacher.” When you were a student, who inspired you and how?

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Kevin Brookhouser

Kevin: I took a video writing class in high school with Jim Talone, who is now retired.  For our final project he asked us to go into the community and find stories that we would then produce and distribute to a real-world audience. This was the first time a teacher gave me creative autonomy, allowing me to pursue what I thought was meaningful and share that project with a real audience. It motivated me to invest more time and work harder than I had ever worked. That experience has stuck with me.

Rafranz: I was inspired by Dr. Vanessa Huse, a professor of  math education for pre-service teaching (education provided to student teachers). She was an important mentor to me and is still part of my life now. She was one of the only people who understood the struggles that I’d face as a teacher of color, even though she doesn’t come from the same background that I do. She made sure I had mentors who were veteran teachers — people I could learn from and collaborate with. She even introduced me to Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, the second African American woman to hold a degree in math. She invited Dr. Granville  to speak to our class and share her story. In many ways, Dr. Huse knew what I needed before I did.

Jennie: We couldn’t invite every teacher that inspires us to be on this panel, though I’m sure you would agree that we wish we could. If you could have brought along one colleague, who would you have picked?

Kevin: There are so many teachers I’d pick. The first colleague who comes to mind is our high school art teacher, Logan Parsons.  She has all of her students create self-portraits. She guides the students to think about how they want to portray themselves, whether in an abstract way or something more realistic. The results are unique and reflective of each individual. I’m inspired by how much students seem to get out of this project and from working with Logan.  

Rafranz.jpg
Rafranz Davis 

Rafranz: It’s so hard to pick one teacher! One of our first and second-grade teachers, Jamie Mayhan, stands out to me because she has such a passion for her students and really thinks outside of the box. She overcomes every challenge in her way. For example, she personally took on the cause of creating better access to technology for her students. She started a BYOD [bring your own device] program in her classroom, which required working with parents to get students devices. To make sure every student had access, she even gathered extra devices on her own by helping students to borrow devices from parents and coordinating device loans from digital learning department.

Jennie: We’ll be talking a lot about what it takes a teacher to do, but what does it take a student to do? How have your students inspired you?

Kevin: My students inspire me with their ability to take risks and try new things before they know whether they’ll succeed. Their willingness to experiment, learn new skills, and participate in new activities motivates me to do the same. That bravery is how real learning happens. I’m also inspired by my students who have a deep desire to help others. They request to work on projects that will  positively impact on other people. Their optimism and generosity gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Rafranz: We put a lot of emphasis on teaching kids grit and resilience to help them overcome adversity, but if we listen, we might be surprised to find out how much strength they already have. I’m inspired by our students who have come from difficult backgrounds — whether they were raised in poverty or affluence — and have been able to rise above challenges and pursue their dreams. Even though they may grow up with circumstances they can’t control, they show up to school and work hard, learn new things and think creatively.

To hear more from Jennie, Kevin and Rafranz live, join us for Education on Air tomorrow, December 3.

We invite you to join this movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher and seeing your own and others’ stories re-shared at google.com/edu/teacher.

Source: Education


Get practical ideas for innovating in schools at Education on Air, Dec 3rd

Editor’s Note: As part of the #ItTakesATeacher movement, we’re hosting a free, online conference on December 3 - Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher - to celebrate educators around the world and allow teachers to learn from each other. Register today.

At Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology. Here’s a glimpse at the sessions we’ve lined up for December 3rd:

Keynotes from change makers and thought leaders around the globe

Tune in to hear a welcome from Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet and Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States. Learn the story of how Jahana Hayes became the 2016 US National Teacher of the Year, and get tips on how she keeps her students engaged.

You’ll hear from Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia and chair of the Global Partnership for Education, who will talk about the importance of teaching and change, and Linda-Darling Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and Stanford University Professor, will present research on the impact of technology in the classroom.

These are just some of the amazing speakers. You can check out the full schedule here.

Breakout sessions, led by educators for educators

Regardless of the age of the students you teach, you'll learn practical tips and tricks from other educators that you can apply right away. Here are just a few of the over 100 sessions for educators:

  • “Fantastic feedback tools for Google Docs” led by Eric Curts, Technology Integration Specialist at SPARCC

  • “Meeting the needs of 21st Century learners - Google Classroom, Learner Agency and Universal Design for Learning” led by Claire Hobson,Deputy Principal, Hobsonville Point Secondary School

  • “Explore your world with Expeditions” led by Jennifer Holland, Google for Education program manager

  • “A chromebook for every student at Wheatley Park School” led by Chris Bateman, Head of Technology & Enterprise at Wheatley Park School

Get PD credit

After the event, you can fill out a form to receive a certificate that verifies your attendance at Education on Air, which you can use to apply for PD credit in your state or region.

We hope these sessions get you excited for Education on Air. Even if you can’t make the whole conference, register now and we’ll let you know when the recordings are available.

Source: Education


Get practical ideas for innovating in schools at Education on Air, Dec 3rd

Editor’s Note: As part of the #ItTakesATeacher movement, we’re hosting a free, online conference on December 3 - Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher - to celebrate educators around the world and allow teachers to learn from each other. Register today.

At Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology. Here’s a glimpse at the sessions we’ve lined up for December 3rd:

Keynotes from change makers and thought leaders around the globe

Tune in to hear a welcome from Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet and Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States. Learn the story of how Jahana Hayes became the 2016 US National Teacher of the Year, and get tips on how she keeps her students engaged.

You’ll hear from Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia and chair of the Global Partnership for Education, who will talk about the importance of teaching and change, and Linda-Darling Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and Stanford University Professor, will present research on the impact of technology in the classroom.

These are just some of the amazing speakers. You can check out the full schedule here.

Breakout sessions, led by educators for educators

Regardless of the age of the students you teach, you'll learn practical tips and tricks from other educators that you can apply right away. Here are just a few of the over 100 sessions for educators:

  • “Fantastic feedback tools for Google Docs” led by Eric Curts, Technology Integration Specialist at SPARCC

  • “Meeting the needs of 21st Century learners - Google Classroom, Learner Agency and Universal Design for Learning” led by Claire Hobson,Deputy Principal, Hobsonville Point Secondary School

  • “Explore your world with Expeditions” led by Jennifer Holland, Google for Education program manager

  • “A chromebook for every student at Wheatley Park School” led by Chris Bateman, Head of Technology & Enterprise at Wheatley Park School

Get PD credit

After the event, you can fill out a form to receive a certificate that verifies your attendance at Education on Air, which you can use to apply for PD credit in your state or region.

We hope these sessions get you excited for Education on Air. Even if you can’t make the whole conference, register now and we’ll let you know when the recordings are available.

Source: Education