Google Thinking, Lone Nuts and Moonshots

Last week I was part of the 2014 Google Teachers Academy in Sydney. 50 teachers from across NZ and Australia had been selected to attend this 2 day experience at Google Sydney. Despite all our inherent differences – age, locations, expectations of the next 2 days, positions of leadership – we were all the same in that we all want change in education. Tom Barrett and Hamish Curry from No Tosh had assembled an awesome team of mentors from last year’s GTA to lead us towards making this change happen.

It started off like any other edu conference these days. People meeting outside the building (or in coffee shops just beside) some that know each other already, but the majority being those wonderful first f2f meet ups. Hugs, hand shaking and introductions out of the way we were then let into the Google buildings (yes, they have 3 in Sydney).

It was obvious from the start that this was not going to be like previous Google Teacher Academies. The first to be led by No Tosh, this was far more about Google thinking than Google products (much to my relief as this was what I had applied for – to push my thinking not for a 48 hour tool slam). Even when the mentors presented Google tools these were shared in 3 presentations through the lenses of community, curiosity and creativity.

The venue was amazing with all the Google expectations: a jungle room for relaxation, endless food, monorail cabin as an office, scooters and unicycles for travelling between offices, endless food, a games room, maker space and did I mention endless food?

Amy, Matt, myself and Suan in the Jungle Room image courtesy of Claire

Amy, Matt, myself and Suan in the Jungle Room image courtesy of Claire

Take your pick for moving between the buildings

Take your pick for moving between the buildings

But, the real highlight for me was the Design Thinking process we were lead through. Continue reading

What if we all saw ourselves as transitional educators?

What if we all took on the challenge to see ourselves as “transitional educators” (or, the term we’ve used in this chapter, “future-building educators”)? What if we all saw our professional responsibility as being not only about supporting young people to plan for and create their futures, but supporting the whole system to move towards a new configuration that is more likely to build a better future for our selves and our environment? What might we do differently in our day-to-day work, or over the scale of a week, year, or a phase of our lives or careers?

(pp 132-133 Key Competencies for the Future by Hipkins, Bolstad, Boyd and McDowall)

An inspiring call to arms towards the end of this great book (full review coming soon). I feel this is what we are trying to become at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. What if we really all took on this challenge? What if this was nation-wide? Global even?

This post is Day 24 of My Question Quest.