Google Teacher Academy for Administrators. Time to Review.

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I survived my trip to San Antonio.

Sadly (for blogging purposes), nothing out of the ordinary happened.

I don’t mind saying, I felt a little jipped.

No drama.  No “incidents” on the plane.  No random stranger doing something stupid.PrincipalsPage Meets Google.  Good Times.

Just a Google Conference.

I say just, but it was so much more.

A 12 hour conference (sounds long, but it’s not really that long once you figure in snack time… and I do love my snack time).

The conference was many things.  Mainly it was an overload of information.  But in a good way.

Now that I’ve had a few days to comprehend my experience, here are my thoughts (in no particular order). 


  • Conference hotels gouge you.  Bad.  This should be a crime, but instead it’s considered good business.



  • It came to my attention (in the first 14 seconds) that employees of Google are way smarter than me.  Way smarter.  Way way smarter (and childlike… they looked 12 years old).


  • Presenters with a sense of humor interest me.  Your information can be life changing, but after sitting 9 hours straight… I need a laugh.


  • Google employees seem to really enjoy their jobs (they seem happier than educators… maybe because, in my mind, they are allowed to take their dogs to work).


  • No matter how much you know about Google Docs, Google Calendar, and everything else Google… you know nothing.  Actually you know less than nothing.


  • A 3 hour layover doesn’t sound like a long time, but it is.  Time spent in the Atlanta airport is like prison.  Every second lasts hours (and there’s no early release program).


  • Ben and Jerry’s serves a fabulous lunch.  I recommend adding a brownie to whatever entree you order.


  • Google’s applications are free.  Microsoft’s are not.  You do the math.


  • Outdoor heated pools are still cold when the temperature is in the 50’s.


  • Google Calendar has a thousand great features.  Unfortunately none of them get me places on time.


  • All schools are different.  All schools are the same.


  • No matter where you go, there are interesting people.


  • Eating Mexican food while wearing a suit almost never turns out well.  Or at least for your tie.


  • They sell a lot of jumbo extra large margaritas on The Riverwalk in San Antonio, yet you never see someone fall in (the river).  How is this possible?



  • Did I mention Google employees are smart?  I did?  Sorry for repeating myself, but I’m stupid (or at least way less smart than them).


  • You can’t decide the long-term direction of your school district after a one day conference.  Even if it’s Google.


  • One day soon, there will be a news story about a divorce caused by too much Twittering.  One of the spouses will have had enough.


  • Airplane seats in the emergency row are pure gold (so that’s what it feels like to stretch my legs…).  They are First Class (or Business Class) without the free booze.


  • Google Docs is free magic.  I would explain it to you, but I’m still trying to process it.


  • Every tech nerd in America owns/wants an Android phone (sorry Blackberry… you had a good run).


  • If you walk up to me and say “I’ve read every blog you’ve ever written”, you might want to consider getting a job.  Or possibly a date.


  • If you recognize me in an elevator, I might want to get a restraining order.


  • Microsoft should be worried.  If Google plays their cards right, Word and Excel may eventually disappear from schools.


  • How do people taller than 5’10” fit into an airplane bathroom?  Even more confusing, how do they use an airplane bathroom?


  • All airplane stewardesses (flight attendants.. whatever) look tired.

That’s my trip.

To summarize, it was an honor and a pleasure.

I’m thrilled to be one of only 2 (?) superintendents in the country to be a Google Certified Teacher.

I now feel like I know so much.  And I feel like I have so much to learn.

Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Google.

Thanks Buddy the Dog.  Without your video, I’m just a creepy guy talking to himself.

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4 Responses to “Google Teacher Academy for Administrators. Time to Review.”

  1. Karen
    on Mar 10th, 2010
    @ 8:16 pm

    Well, Michael, those of us who read your blog (occasionally or every time it’s posted) were looking for you at ASCD which was in San Antonio this past weekend as you probably know. I actually ran into or met several people who asked me if I had met the guy who writes the Principal’s Page. You mentioned you were going to San Antonio in a previous post and we all assumed you were at ASCD. Nevermind, here are some additional observations about our conference to add to yours.

    There were smart people at ASCD but probably not as smart as at Google. If my son’s friend (age 24) who works there is any indication those people are smarter than anyone in the world.

    Using theairplane bathroom when you are 4’11” is not particularly hard.

    A 4 hour wait in the Charlotte airport is also hard. The pain can be alleviated by the proper choice of beverage in one of the local restaurants.

    Attendants not only look tired but sound like they have rocks in their mouths when they speak into those awful microphones they are forced to use.

    If you take a tour on one of the boats that sail in the San Antonio river you find out that if you SHOULD fall in the water, just stand up, its only 4 feet deep. There is a great tour guide there named Leon. Check him out the next time you go.

    Congrats on being a google certified teacher. One of the teachers in my school is member of that elite group as well.

  2. Cracked Chalkboard
    on Mar 11th, 2010
    @ 12:19 pm

    Did you try the cabrito or the street vendor tacos? :) I hate that mall, but it’s a convenient entry to the Riverwalk.

  3. Cracked Chalkboard
    on Mar 11th, 2010
    @ 12:25 pm

    P.S. could you elaborate on the smartness of Google employees? :P

  4. Amy Mayer
    on Mar 13th, 2010
    @ 3:59 pm

    I saw a tweet posted by Jarod Lambert (soon to be coming to my district) and followed it only to recognize a certain guy from San Antonio. Why didn’t you tell me you were famous? I would have been all impressed and stuff. Loved your post about the Google session. Accurate and funny, the second attribute being by far more important.

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