Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in the 1950s persuaded Congress to recognize the importance of teachers with a celebratory day, today is set aside in the U.S. to honor our educators and acknowledge the contributions they make. I know that I speak for everyone at Google when I say that none of us would be where we are today without our teachers. On National Teacher Day, we salute you, the dedicated men and women who taught us much of what we know.
And we invite you to join us, too, at the next installment of the Google Teacher Academy at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California on June 25th. Back by popular demand, the GTA is an intensive one-day professional development event designed to help K-12 teachers get immersed in innovative technologies. Teachers near and far are invited to apply to spend the day with us getting your hands on tools like Google Earth, Google Docs and the entire Google Apps suite. Come, sit in classes, learn some new stuff, and rub elbows with some of your most creative contemporaries who, like you, are changing the world one student and one classroom at a time.
Today, Google for Educators is also pleased to announce the launch of the new Geo Education website, where you'll find oodles of information about Google Earth, Maps, Sky and SketchUp. In addition to spotlighting inspiring lessons from some pioneering teachers, we are also sharing quick tips and ideas for easy ways get started using geo tools in your classroom. Among other things, you'll learn how to take flyover tours of peaks, valleys and gorges, how to view constellations - even in the daytime - and how to make a 3D model of your very own school.
And last but not least, awhile back, we asked teachers to share stories about using Google Docs in the classroom. You told us about your students' collaborative writing projects, about class presentations where kids were engaged in dialog using the "chat" box throughout, and you mentioned being able to be involved in the creative process early on, instead of only seeing the final product. While we were reading, we realized that Docs can be somewhat intimidating to the uninitiated, so we created a getting started document specifically educators -- with tips for signing up, logging in, and working your way through a document -- both in-class and outside.
So happy Teacher Day! We hope you have an enjoyable day during which you get a hundred shiny apples and maybe even a hug from a kid who knows how much you do every day. And we hope to see you at the Googleplex in June, too.