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Reflections from Google Academy 2010

Going to the Google Teachers Academy (GTA) in London this year, somehow felt as if I was on a missionary task, representing South Africa and ORT SA, the NGO I work for, may have added to this sense of feeling.  Back from London, this missionary sentiment has shifted to recovering from the intense overload of information experienced, the overwhelming experience of meeting the most amazing and remarkable people – teachers from all over the world that share the same passion in ICT integration  and education.  This year, I was also privileged to take part in “Feuerstein Training” and the “Leader in Me” (based on Covey’s 7 habits) which has now given me the desire to share the knowledge I have gained.

“Google”, a word that has become a vocabulary terminology to the word “Search” is more than a “Search engine company”.

Most of us have become accustomed to going straight to our handhelds devices to “Google” for terms, information, definitions, prices, locations … you name it! So what else can we learn about this search engine?  The answer is – – – there is more than meets the eye.

First, take some time to check the extra features offered when searching. This appears on the left hand side of Google’s page after you have clicked on the term you have searched for.

 Some examples:

  • Latest – provides immediate results for the term
  • Timeline – Your term appears in timeline
  •  Wonder wheel – a great tool that outlines your term in a sort of “mind map” and therefore helps to eliminate what you don’t need.  This is great to enhance keywords skills
  • The images section is mind-blowing;  you can select images similar to a specific one, select images according to a colour, and more and more to suit the creative amongst us

As said previously, Google is more than a “search engine”. It is a platform to create, share and collaborate.  Google Documents (similar to Word, Excel and Power Point Presentations) has the unique feature of working on a document in a collaborative way.  You can count on Google to go a step ahead.  For example, “Google Moderator” is a tool designed to get people’s feedback, questions, and requests on a specific issue. What a great way to collect queries from participants before your seminar.

Since very young, I hated roller coasters and avoided going on them with various excuses. GTA was like a rollercoaster (Anaconda type).  Especially since the climb and anticipation for the event took longer than the exhilarating ride itself.  The feeling of dizziness when getting off the rollercoaster is similar to the feeling when the seminar ended.  Now with the Adrenalin being felt, there is that addictive feeling of wanting more.  I guess it’s up to each individual to recreate this type of ride in their own niche of work and life.

ORT SA will be offering Workshops on Google Applications in business and in teaching. Workshops will be offered in Johannesburg in October and November.

One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ariellah Rosenberg, Zoe Ross. Zoe Ross said: RT @Ariellah: catching up with my "debts" to my blog; here is the post on my Google Experience #gtauk http://bit.ly/ciYVIc #gtauk […]

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