College IT teacher Toby Doncaster was chosen as one of 36 participants from over 2000 applicants to take part in #SWE19, a thought-provoking and for some life-changing, three-day Academy for Google Education Innovators in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference involved networking, training, mentoring and coaching, and took place earlier this month from 6-8 November.
To apply for the Google Innovator role, Toby needed to consider the digital skills issues within West London College. In talking to his colleagues, he realised that many were hesitant to implement IT skills in their classes. But at the time of applying he still had no idea how he was going to approach this problem!
The 3-day Google Innovator Programme encouraged Toby to put himself in the shoes of his users and consider a range of possible solutions. He was then able to decide on a project to design and implement.
Toby said: “You can imagine my delight when I received the email confirming that my application had been successful. The course was extremely intensive but I enjoyed every moment of it.”
Over the coming year, Toby will be developing a Google classroom to help West London College teachers dispel their fears about implementing IT in their classrooms.
The project will offer solutions and learning materials that teachers can use with their learners to develop a growth mindset in implementing and using IT. Toby is hoping to develop a cohort of early adopters in the college willing to trial his innovative project.
Toby said: “On the final day, I formulated a pitch for my project which was well received by my innovator cohort.”
The Google for Education Certified Innovator Programme supports educators in developing new projects for their classrooms. Members participate in a year-long mentoring programme that begins with workshops called Innovator Academies, like the one Toby went to in Sweden, where teachers, coaches and Google experts learn from each other.