Google Certified Innovator Program: I got accepted, now what?

I yelled out loud. Yep, my 12 year old was sitting next to me and she jumped, quite literally 2 feet into the air. This is the email I was reading:

Me and 36 other educators in Canada and the US probably all did the squeal/scream at the same time as most of us had been glued to twitter looking for any sign of when the results of the application were to be released.

I felt excited, really excited about what lay ahead and as I sit here a month into the journey and take some time to reflect.

Before I do so, I wanted to just give a little more context to what my initial vision for the application was. Here’s the vision video I developed to explain the problem I wanted to address:

And here’s the link to my vision deck.

Even though a lot of the work still remains to be done… well pretty much ALL the work, still, there have been quite a few changes that have occurred for me – and it may just be coincidence, but I wanted to take the time to process these here.

  1. I’ve started running regularly.
    Although that seems like the last thing that could possibly be related to being accepted into an educational program, it’s probably the first change that was noticeable, at least by me. So, all 37 of us have been invited to join an online class via Google Classroom and the first assignment was to write about the one thing you can’t live without. I wrote:
    Taking the obvious answers away (family, friends, body parts, organs #notthemusicalkind) I’d have to say the combo of running shoes and headphones – I guess a generative audio device would have to be included for full effect 🙂
    So I guess I brought it upon myself to have other people chime in that they too enjoyed running and maybe we should do a group run together… The first thing I though was, dang – I have to get back into real running shape, STAT!! So, I ran every day that week and have been running/exercising on average 4 times a week. It feels drastically different since I’ve been pretty stagnant the last few months. I blame it all on my 18 month old who is till refusing to sleep through the night. Blame the kid, right? Or the lack of sleep. In my case, both. Anyhew, no more excuses.
  2. I restarted my podcast.
    The EPT podcast (before you ask, it’s the opposite of “inept” and it stands for Education, Productivity and Technology) has been stagnant for a year and a half and I’ve been struggling with finding time and energy to devote to it. I’ve been getting really excited with listening to the conversations on Google Hangouts with my cohort and I decided I wanted to get to know some of them before we met in person in Washington D.C. in August, so I put it out there that I would love to interview them if they were interested. I got great responses back and am in the process of publishing the first of 7 interviews that I have already done and have 8 more scheduled. These have been really amazing and I can’t wait to share them!
  3. I experienced and we (all 37 of us) solved multiple puzzles successfully.
    I’ve been hearing about Breakout EDU for a while and I finally got to experience it first hand by opening a package that came to my door! Then we had to work through a variety of puzzles that led us to a password protected website, onto a map with each of our locations with QR codes attached and finally to the last piece of the puzzle where we now need to create a puzzle of our own to present to our cohort when we see each other in about a month. Yes, that craziness totally deserved a run-on sentence.

  4. I began a 30 day video series.
    So part of vision for the innovator project is to reframe some of the ways professional development is done. Rather than having PD done to you, I would like to see you, the person who wants PD to be the one in charge. One of the initial ideas I have had is to create a body of work around the “thing” you are interested in learning more about. So, while I was in the shower the other day (the number 2 place where I get most of my ideas. I’ll leave you to guess the number 1 place) I decided that I would put into practice the thing that I wanted to try out. Why not experiment with myself. I mean, I make a pretty good guinea pig… So, here I am on Day 1 of my 30 day video series, writing a blog post for the first time in over a year. I guess that’s a thing too.
  5. I restarted blogging.
    See above 🙂

Adnan Iftekhar