I know, the first thing that comes into one’s mind when they hear Google Academy is the super sought-after Google Teacher Academy – the ones that people have to compete for spots at. This wasn’t one of those. It was just a day full of presentations about Google products that anyone who was fortunate enough to sign up for before all the slots were gone could attend.
I spent my first day in Austin at the Google Academy. I started off the morning with high expectations. I was very excited and the tweets that others were sending increased my excitement because they were all excited, too.
I found myself disappointed by the end of the day. It wasn’t because the Academy wasn’t well organized or that the presentations were not valuable – it was VERY well organized and the presentations actually were valuable. The problem for me was that the presentations were all about things about which I already had knowledge. I know that many people got a lot out of the day because there was valuable information for people who had never used Google Forms or Google Calendar or other Google apps. What I learned today is that I already know quite a bit, which really encouraged me to attempt a Google Trainer certification.
Again, I’m not saying that the Academy was not good. It just wasn’t what I needed. I hope that one day there will be a strand added for high-use people – showing us some of the innovative things people are doing with Google apps.
In the meantime, you can find the links I saved during the day on my Linkable site. Here are a few tidbits I learned:
And I was reminded of a few things:
- Visit Google Labs often to see what is being developed
- Use Google Voice to have a phone number you aren’t afraid to give out. One of my colleagues, John Witter, uses this and he also told me about a very handy feature – he can change the number the Google call is directed to during a conversation so that he can continue a call that originated on a landline, move it to his mobile phone, and the caller never knows that the transition has been made. I don’t know how many times I’ve been on a landline call and wanted to leave, but couldn’t because I’m still talking on the phone!
At the end of the day, Jaime Casap gave us a great closing presentation. I really enjoyed some of the things he had to say and was sad that he didn’t really have enough time to say everything he planned to say.
I want to thank Google and the folks at TCEA for all the planning that went into the day!