Roughly 2 1/2 years ago I became an Instructional Technology Trainer. It was then when my colleague Ann showed me Google Docs. I had never heard of it up to that point in my illustrious
life and career.
and so it happened . . . .
My Google Docs Birthday was August 2009.
Like the birth of any of my three children, my world was forever changed. The same was true in the birth of my journey into the Google World. To be totally honest I don't see how I survived without it for so long and I can't believe I did. I truthfully cannot imagine LIFE WITHOUT GOOGLE now.
Nick Provenzano, otherwise known as the Nerdy Teacher on Twitter wrote this brilliant post once upon a time and I remember reading it and thinking he had hit the nail on the head and there was no way I could ever be so clever as to write something some witty as the master #edubro mind had.
But I have a GOOGLE MIND now. The evolution of my Google Mind has come a long way in 2 1/2 years. Two more years of learning Google under my belt, a trip to New York City Google Headquarters, a presentation here and there, and o yes, times have changed my good friends.
Yes, my initial learning of Google Docs blew my mind that I could be on a "Microsoft Word Document" at the same time as someone else online from anywhere in the world. As a teacher / trainer I still love to see this amazement of the first time a student or teacher is on a Google Doc and goes "I see you typing" or "Look I can see Mr. Cat typing on mine". It makes me smile every time and warms my Google Heart!
Google is so much more than Search. A free GMAIL account can take you places you have never been. It can connect you with people across the globe in an instant. The thing is, its not about the GMAIL account, its about the GOOGLE account. The Gmail account is a means to the "Suite Life of Google" as I like to call it. The Suite of Google Apps are amazing, collaborative, and intuitive.
I have to be brutally honest here, it pains me when I see people that cannot let go of their old ways and use of Microsoft word. They are missing out on so much. The printing that goes on within schools is terrible. Although, I believe you actually can teach an old dog new tricks. I'm just not quite sure how yet and nor have I perfected it. Collaborating in Google Docs can make a project go twice as fast or include many voices. I struggle to understand why people would not want the advantages that come with the "Suite Life of Google Apps".
My district adopted Google Apps for Education this school year and in my Google Dream World we will someday fully embrace it. No longer will the days of kids printing typed out essays be needed. Teachers will see the light and their Google Mind will be filled with DRIVE and naming structures on Docs within it. They will be running Scripts like Flubaroo, Doctopus, and Autocrat. Student presentations will be blasted up on the big screen via projectors and students will be collaborating world-wide via Google Plus Hangouts, or perhaps even in a Google + Community.
With Google, the sky is the limit. We are only as good as we want to be or as stagnant as we want to be.
Help me help you.
Contact me and let's talk Google. You can tweet me, email me, call me, text me, or message me. I'm not hard to find. Let's brainstorm on how we can utilize Google to its fullest potential.
I use Google personally on all kinds of levels like sharing a Calendar with my beautiful wife that keeps me on track for not missing any family events. I use Google Plus Hangouts to hangout with my friends I met at the NYC Google Certified Teacher Academy and locally with all kinds of amazing educators across Nebraska every third Thursday of the month. I collaborate on Google Docs on all kinds of different projects that I work with my colleagues on. The list goes on and on.
Just do me a favor and rethink how you are doing business today in your personal life, your classrooms, your principal's, curriculum, and superintendent offices and ask yourself if you could do that business with Google and my bet is you can. Try not to get hung up too much about how some little feature is not there that you are used to and how Google doesn't do this or that, because I guarantee you the product you use does not do what Google does! Flip the script.
Think about it.
And let me leave you with this question:
When will you have a Google Mind?