Google Teacher Academy and Certification

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Google will offer The Google Teacher Academy November 7, 2006, at the Google Campus in Mountain View, CA.

This is a pilot program designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies.

The Academy is for one day. Participants will get hands-on experience with Google products and other technologies, receive instructional resources to share with colleagues, and share innovative instructional strategies with other local educators.

Upon completion, Academy participants will become Google Certified Teachers. They will then lead at least three related professional development activities for other local educators.

Applications are due on October 22, 2006.

First, congratulations Google, for taking this step to assist teachers to use more advanced technologies in classrooms. It’s a reasonable business move: Find a void and fill it.

You’re following in the footsteps of those who still consider the west (especially Silicon Valley) an on-going frontier for social innovation, including schooling and learning.

Teacher certifications have generally had public authorization and independent accreditation to lend credibility to claims of preparation to perform selected skilled activities. Google adds its considerable weight to challenge (or is it just to supplement?) these conventions.

Now, private enterprize by a non-education company without any public support or supervision exercises its vision to prepare and update teachers for more effective and efficient classroom service with advanced technologies.

Google follows in the steps of the University of Phoenix and other for-profit organizations competing directly with obligations taxpayers expect public and higher education to fulfill.

I wonder if Google has ratcheted up competition for the hearts and minds of classroom teachers? We look forward to hearing from anyone who attends this Academy as well as what others might think.

I like the competition in the schooling arena. What do you think?

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.

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