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4. Over the two days of the Google Teacher Academy (GTA), there was a real focus on celebrating success, which tied in nicely with some of the reading I have been doing recently on Marzano's "The Art and Science of Teaching". At the GTA we celebrated with a combination of whooping, music, party poppers, gold stars and written feedback. Celebrations of success happened regularly, both anonymously and in person, and for both big and small achievements. How do we truly and regularly celebrate student progress - big and small - in the classroom?
3. Listening to our mentor groups talk about Google apps and tools that aren't as well-known as the core GAFE suite gave me some take-home ideas that I want to start using straight away. Being able to search newspapers from all over the world and right back to the 1800s to see what was happening at the time, people's reactions to world events and so on... Using Google Earth to let kids see first-hand the effects of rising sea-levels... Google Correlate allows people to look at trends in real-world data, in countries around the world.... Love finding new sites and tools to explore with the kids!
2. Connections with other educators - The opportunity to connect with, work alongside of, and receive feedback from 50+ passionate educators, all effecting change in the field of education, was an exciting and professionally life-changing experience. I'm looking forward to continuing my connections with these awesome people online.
But Number One is....!
1. For a couple of years now I have been encouraging teachers to give students opportunities to be creative, innovative collaborators; to teach students entrepreneurial skills that will help them achieve success in the workforce they will enter at the end of their school careers. However, not having come from a business background myself, I didn't really have the skills or know-how to do that effectively. My attempts to foster creativity were haphazard and not necessarily linked to a meaningful purpose. Being led through the Design Thinking process by Tom and Hamish from Notosh really gave me a tangible way of leading students through the steps of immersion, synthesis, ideation and prototyping. I would strongly encourage you to find out more about Design Thinking as a way to move forward in the area of fostering creativity.