Saturday, September 10, 2016

Google Innovator #TOR16

This is a blog post I had hoped to write for years. And I am writing it now because my dreams have finally become reality. I am becoming a Google Innovator.

For years I had looked up to certain people in the world of Ed Tech. I would attend their sessions and be inspired by their ideas. Many of them were Google Trainers and Innovators. I would look at the requirements for those certifications, and talk myself out of applying. It wasn't like you could take a simple test and get the badge. It was a process. It required exams, resumes, references, and ideas. I talked myself out of it every time.

But something switched in my brain this past Spring. I decided that I should try it anyway. The worst thing I could get told was no. I had become used to rejection, and my grit was intact. Professionally, I was in a rut, in a place where my ideas and experiences did not seem to matter. I took the Educator Level 1 & 2 tests, passing them both.

As I was prepping for and taking the exams, I noticed that the window for Google Trainer certification was open. I looked at the requirements and felt a bit overwhelmed. Yet, I took a deep breath and dove in. It took several weeks to put together the paperwork, video, and other documentation. I submitted my application and waited, self-doubting the whole time.

On June 22, I got the email. I was now a Google Trainer.

This was a big deal for me. There are only about 1,400 Google Trainers in the world, and I was now one of them. I felt like all of my experience finally counted for something. I had a new motivation to keep going (plus, I had to clock trainings to keep my Trainer certification). Although I have had a few hiccups, I have soldiered on and created a weekly Google class at my school in addition to proposing sessions for conferences and summits.

It was because I am now a Google Trainer that I got the email. Applications for the first Google Innovator Academy in Canada were open. I looked at the requirements and felt a bit overwhelmed. Yet, I took a deep breath and dove in. It took several weeks to put together the paperwork, video, and other documentation. I submitted my application and waited, self-doubting the whole time.

On September 6, I checked my email all day. It was a 50/50 chance. In the evening,  I started getting invites to join Google+ groups. Documents were shared with me, and my Twitter started blowing up. In my Spam folder, I found it:



Wow, I am a Google Innovator. 

After the whirlwind of this week, booking flights, hotels, and applying for a passport, I sit here is awe of this opportunity. I have for so long been a single voice trying to make change in a world of status quo thinkers. To think that I am going to spend three days collaborating with like-minded educators who want to change the world for our students as much as I do, I get choked up. 

It inspires me to keep going when all I find are brick walls. It humbles me to think that Google trusts me to help lead that change. It awes me as I look forward to the learning I will do so I can encourage learning in others. I can't wait!



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