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  • Andrew T Schwab 2:02 pm on July 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , google   

    Thoughts on Being a Google Certified Teacher (GCT) 

    I was recently sent a survey that prompted me to think about what the GCT program has meant to me and what it means to still be a GCT after having attended the Google Teacher Academy in Seattle WA back in 2011. I thought I would share the comments I submitted with the world (because that’s what blogs are for, right!). You will see from my comments that I have some concerns about where Google may be planning to take the GCT program in the future.

    The best thing about the GCT community to me was and continues to be the organic nature of the collaboration and evangelism. Trying to box that in, or assign requirements or metrics to being a GCT may be counter productive. The GET program already has that. In my experience GCTs use Google Apps and advocate for it because it works and instructionally it’s the best collaboration platform out there. What GCTs need is advanced heads up on UI changes, a direct line for feedback to developers and more support in the area of data privacy and protection when dealing with IT departments and community members.

    GCT to me has been great because it is a low key type of advocacy without a ton of demands on my time. GCTs for the most part are all full time something else’s, and loading requirements on folks for a label or badge, which is what other edtech evangelist programs tend to do, would make it much less appealing to me.

    Honestly, the GCT community has existed and thrived without much help from Google and I hope whatever changes come down the line don’t get in the way of that grass roots spirit of collaboration.

    Suffice it to say, I hope whatever changes are coming are not the beginning of the plusification of the GCT community or an attempt to qualify, quantify and metricise our collaboration and advocacy. I continue to support and assist districts that are going google because I believe in the product and the platform’s potential to positively impact teaching and learning. Not because I have a badge that labels me as a GCT. I’m guessing most of my colleagues have a similar feeling.

    All good things must come to an end. In this case, I hope the end is very far away.

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  • Andrew T Schwab 10:34 am on May 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: certfication, fair, GAFe, google, google apps for education certified trainer, relationships, trust   

    Becoming a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer – New and Improved 

    After having jumped through all the required hoops, I finally submitted my completed Google Apps for Education  Trainer Certification application back in March. I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for my the email congratulating me on becoming a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer ever since. So imagine my surprise when late last night I received the following email:

    Hello,

    Thank you for applying to the Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer program. Since you have submitted your application, we have added additional questions and would like to collect some additional information about your Google Apps experience to further evaluate your application.

    Please fill out the following form with information about your Google Apps background: link removed.

    There is also an additional requirement of a 2 minute video introducing yourself. This can be a simple video spoken into a webcam. Tell us who you are, what your current role is and what you have done in education, and how you’re an innovative Apps user.
    We apologize for the delay in response as we have had an increased volume in applications in the past month. Please expect 3-4 weeks for final review of your application after submitting the supplemental application form.

    Best Regards,
    The Google Apps for Education Team

    I suppose I could have just completed the extra steps but the scenario this presents conflicts greatly with my sense of fair play and ethical behavior so I decided to send this email back in response instead:
    Respectfully,
    I paid my money, passed the tests and followed the requirements and steps to be certified. The fact that between the time my application was submitted and now Google has gone and changed the requirements should have no bearing on becoming certified. I’ve been a strong GAFE advocate in the Edtech community in California since before Google got it’s act together and started providing resources to help people migrate to Google Apps. I’ve had to respond to many questions and concerns about the safety and wisdom of trusting Google with a Schools data and building learning environments around a free product. Never in my defense of Google did I ever personally have concerns about those issues, however this email has me questioning the Apps for Education team’s sense of fair play and ethics.
    While I doubt it was your intent, this email basically says your going back on your word, that you’ve changed the rules for the certification and for everyone who’s apps were stuck in your queue awaiting review, sorry but you need to apply again. It’s a trust issue. Google Apps works because I trust google with my Districts data and I trust that your reasons for providing GAFE for free are generally aligned with my districts interests. It’s hard to maintain that trust when the party with all the power exercises that power in unfair ways.
    So yes, in the time it took to write this I probably could have just filled out the extra form and made a video but you’ve set off my ethics and morals alarm and my sense of fair play is screaming.
    Please consider my application based on the criteria established at the time I submitted it. If you don’t approve it I’ll understand.
    Thanks
    andrew
    So what do you think? Is this a fair way to treat all those of us that submitted applications before the new and improved application process was put in place?
     
    • Anonymous 7:39 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Did you get an answer to this?

    • Anonymous 11:46 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m guessing you didn’t get an answer then? :P

  • Andrew T Schwab 2:42 pm on October 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cloud computing, google   

    Platform or Service, is Google the next Intel? 

    I recently watched the Triumph of the Nerds (again) and was struck by the role Intel played in the development of the PC market.  Intel developed microprocessors and dominated the market but they were not the ones that developed the PC, arguably the most important device ever to utilize their chips.  Intel built a platform (the x86 microprocessor) that enabled Apple and IBM to basically invent the PC market (sorry Ed Roberts).  Of course Intel didn’t do too bad either.  Until AMD came along they were the dominate chip maker, so much so that AMD basically copied their x86 architecture and made Intel compatible microprocessors.

    So what does all this have to do with Google?  Well, as a user of Google services such as gmail, reader and search I think it is easy to mislabel Google as a services company.  While it is true that many of their services do compete directly with Microsoft or Yahoo, Google is more than just a collection of services.  Take a look at their ingenious server rack design or their data center in a box and you can see their vision of platform.  Google’s very own microprocessors if you will.  Google has built a huge platform, a Google OS, on top of which they run search and many other services.

    Just as Intel has influenced the PC industry with their innovative chip designs and allowed for the explosive potential of the desktop computer, so too I believe will Google’s innovative interconnected processing platform have a huge impact on the future of computing for decades to come.  I think we have yet to see the Apples and IBMs emerge that will take advantage of the Google platform in the same way the PC did Intel processors but with the introduction of Google Wave as an open standard, I think it is only a matter of time until we do.

    And what of Microsoft in all this?  They are going to be late to the party as usual.

     
  • Andrew T Schwab 6:30 pm on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Edubuntu Loadbalance, google, LTSP-Cluster, MILLE-XTERM,   

    So what is twitter anyway? 

    Yesterday I was using Google to search for a way to load balance more than one Edubuntu Server for an upcoming summer project.  Usually I can find what I am looking for on Google in the first page or two but this time all I could find was an old Linux Journal article from 2006 about a project called MILLE-XTERM.  I grew quite excited as I read through the article as the application was exactly what I needed.

    My excitement was short lived as I went to the MILLE-XTERM site only to find that the project hadn’t been updated since 2006!  A dead end.  I went back to Google to see if I could find something more current but failed miserably.  During this time, twhirl had been chiming away with twitter posts and suddenly a light bulb went off.  Why not ask the twitterverse?  So I posted this question:

    What ever happened to the MILLE-XTERM project – http://is.gd/ukpq? Load balanced LTSP thin clients, is there another way to do this?

    I then went back to searching Google not really expecting anything to come of it.  Not 2 minutes later this popped up in twhirl:

    AlexDLWS @anotherschwab Yup … LTSP-Cluster

    Bingo! And shortly thereafter more good news :

    bligneri @anotherschwab Hello. In fact, MILLE-XTERM has been integrated into LTSP and is now LTSP-Cluster. Same design, same team ;-) http://www. …

    bligneri @anotherschwab Blog of developer http://tinyurl.com/dxkx3f, Revolutoin Linux page : http://tinyurl.com/ltspcluster

    In less then 5 minutes, twitter had found the answer.  And then I realized what had happened.  This was the same feeling I got when I started using Google so many years ago.  The simple page with the little box you typed your terms into that magically revealed sites with the right answers.  The multiple search terms, having to use AND and OR, the quotes, re-arranging the terms.  No more.  Compared to what had come before google deserved to become a verb.  It just worked and the answers came.

    Starting out in my career, my technical knowledge was broad but not very deep.  No matter; Google had the depth.  Together we were unstoppable.  Not sure how to setup RAID5 on an HP, Google it.  Need to repair a corrupt Exchange Information Store, Google it.  Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac.  It didn’t matter.  Google expanded my abilities in ways I could have only dreamed.  Knowing what to search for became more important than simply knowing how to fix something.  I have used the former skill for life long learning, the latter continues to expire as technology evolves.

    Google plugged me into a vast library of technical information and put it at my fingertips.  Now twitter has done something much the same; only it is not a library of information that is available, it is us.  We the people, the creators of the vast online forums and electronic documents, the blogs and the technets.  The authors are now on line and accessible.  But not just the authors.  As Google cataloged the digital knowledge of so many who took the time to contribute to the world wide web, now twitter makes it possible for the rest of us to participate.  The readers and the lurkers.  The admins too busy to write up a how-to or post a blog.  The teacher with 3o years experience that just learned how to get on the Internet yesterday.  We are now all just a tweet away.  Trying to find the best netbook to deploy in education, twitter it.  Need to load balance Edubuntu, twitter it. Don’t know how to follow the #educhat discussion on twitter, twitter it.

    And so a new verb is born.  Google was a boon to the sharing of knowledge, but in many ways it is now confined by its great success at such a single purpose.   If Google is the village library then Twitter is the village.  And so my ah ha moment came for twitter this week just as it did once upon a time for Google.

    People talk a lot about what twitter is or isn’t and how to use it.  Twitter is different, its disruptive, its new, its exciting, its the buzz.  Twitter is something for everyone.  For me it is a tool.  Where Google was the favorite tool in my tool bag, the big sledge hammer I could pull out and use to fix most any problem, twitter is my new shiny multi-tool, able to adapt and change to meet unexpected and challenging situations.  It can be search; it can be IM; it can be chat; it can be customer relations; it can be advertising; it can be collaboration in a classroom; it can be my PLN.  It can be whatever I need whenever I need it.

    Friday it was search, today it’s shameless self promotion and whatever tool twitter becomes for me next, one thing is certain it won’t be arriving in a box.

     
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