Sunday, October 4, 2009

We are excited to announce the
Google Workshop for Educators
@ the TIES Technology Conference
December 13, 2009
Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis

Let us know you are interested!
Fill out this form and we'll forward you the registration information as soon as it becomes available!

Search, learn, share! Brought to you by the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, the nationally acclaimed Google Workshop for Educators (GWE) introdu
ces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in education. The one day workshop includes a full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities including experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and inspirational instructional strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways they've implemented tools such as Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Sites, and... even more. Participants who complete the event are given access to the Google Workshops for Educators Network (GWEN), an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning.

We are looking for creative participants (eager beginners to advanced) that have a desire to build on current skills and integrate relevant technology into the classroom. Participants should have a desire to collaborate online with other educators from the workshop and help support each other with questions and successes. Participants should bring their own ideas and be willing to look at big picture when pace is fast and dive into the relevant details during time set aside for application.

Quotes from GWE past participants…
“Thanks! By far the best and most beneficial technology workshop I've attended.” – Nicholas, ISD 138

This was a great workshop. I want more.....” – Cathy, Edina Public Schools

“This was fabulous! I'm excited about putting this to use with the teachers and students in my district.” –Penny, Orono School District

“All educators should have the opportunity to attend a GWE.” – GWE Participant, Hopkins, MN August 2009

A Bakery, Pharmacy and a Snack Shop: Microloans from Students

Last week I introduced the students in learning.21st to the idea of microloans. I was partially inspired by a blog post but mostly by a lesson my wife was doing with her 2nd graders. It is not often when a lesson can be interchangeable between 2nd graders and freshman. I started the class with a good old fashioned read-a-loud of One Hen. A short clip from a PBS Frontline episode provided a nice personal narrative of how the love of peanut butter leads to direct support of small business in the developing world. It also gave a nice overview of how microfinancing and works.

The students were asked to consider their criteria for lending money and worked in small groups to choose a person from to support. Each group had a few minutes to introduce their candidate for funding while we looked at the business profiles and saw each location in Google Earth. After the pitch, we voted via a Google Form and the top two candidates received $25 microloans.

The challenge for me is to take the lesson to the next level. There was great discussion about equity, privilege and life experience. We lent money to groups of people to causes we deemed worthy. I would like to take the lesson to the next level so please share your ideas in the comments. Other than commenting on the lender pages and sending messages I feel I am missing an opportunity to build on a great first-time lesson.

At the end of class there was a mystery donation of $20 from one student. I quickly made a additional loan to a small bakery in Samoa hoping it would maybe in some small way offset some of the recent tragedy as a result of the tsunami. The lesson clearly impacted one student all by itself, but now should I build on it to further it in for the rest?