I had frequently been visiting the EdTechTeam website, but I knew that my school could not afford to send me. I received an email from DonorsChoose; they were starting a pilot program for professional development. I knew this was my best route!
I quickly applied to attend the closest boot camp nearby. A few weeks of persuading my friends and family to donate, I was off to a workcation. (Yes, I love that word!)
We started 8:30 sharp on Saturday. You would think after teaching all week; no teacher would ever attend a weekend training. The thing about teachers is we care more about our students than we do ourselves. I was greeted by my wonderful trainer Amanda Taylor. She was warm and welcoming. She had lots to share and wanted to know about each of us.
I sat there being the only teacher who had never used Google in the classroom prior.I came in worried; these sources would never apply to second graders. I was wrong! I could not wait to get back and use as much as could in my classroom.
Currently, I am waiting for the district to create student Google accounts for me. I personally fully immersed myself in everything Google. I started the week using Google Slides to engage students with scenarios and animations actively. I have begun using Google Sheets to analyze data and student growth. Students have seen a snapshot of what we will be able to accomplish in the next month, and they were beyond excited to start using Google tools to make their creations!
The EdTechTeam had set up the process in such an easy transition. We focused on one section at a time. Home challenges let us continue practicing even after the training had ended. We were given real life challenges to build sites and forums that we could use in our classroom the very next week. Did I mention Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and Panera for lunch?
One of the biggest takeaways from my workcation was meeting new people and their resources they had to share.
Less than a week after taking the bootcamp, I am Level 1 Google Certified Educator. Look out Level 2 Bootcamp, here I come!
Want to attend your own Google Bootcamp like Christiann? Check out our Bootcamps here!