EDU: The Google Innovator Program with Innovators

Episode 24

Guest Star

Jennifer Scott

  • Bakersfield, California
  • Compton Jr. High, Bakersfield City School District
  • Classroom teacher
  • English, history, yearbook
  •, @JenTechnology
  • Google Innovator with #MEX16, Google Innovator Coach #MEX18, and Google Innovator Mentor with #BRZ17, #MEX18 #LON19. Jennifer is competing the 59 Days of Code Project. Wish her luck!

Luis Pertuz

  • Barranquilla, COlombia
  • Colegio Marymount 
  • Technology Integrator
  • Credentials
    • Google Certified Teacher (1&2)
    • Google Certified Trainer
    • Google Certified Innovator #NYC19

Federico Centeno

  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Credentials
    • Google Certified Teacher (both levels)
    • Google Certified Trainer
    • Google Certified Innovator #MEX16

Dr. Mark Wagner

  • Ph.D. Educational Technology
  • CEO EdTechTeam

ACEd Topic


  • History
  • Chris Walsh from WestEd in connection with CUE & Mike Lawrence
  • Raising awareness about Google
  • Top ideas were The Infinite Thinking Machine Show and Google Innovator Academy
  • EdTechTeam joins lead learner and coach
  • Colors instead of creative teams
  • Before Google Apps recently acquired Blogger
  • The first (1st) Google for Education Certified Innovator Academy was in California November 2006 under the name Google Certified Teacher Academy
  • Dr. Wagner, Director of Google Teacher Academy
  • Application Process
  • Applications evolve from cohort to cohort. Make a copy of the new questions as soon as they are released.
  • There used to be long presentations and formats and paperwork 
  • Then a 90 second video
  • Now it’s a 60 second video
  • The application is scored by coaches and Innovators using a rubric. Follow the directions to the tee. Jen’s mistake with #TOR16 was using the same answers she almost submitted for #COL16. Read carefully!!!! (I saw someone submit for NYC and SWE with practically the same video and didn’t get in; Adam Juarez with #SYD17 changed one line on his application)
  • Do NOT give or even hint at a solution in your application or video. If you already know the answer, then why go to the 3-day Academy? Focus on the problem and be open to solutions at the Academy My mistake was talking about the solution I envisioned for #MEX18.
  • How Might We statements must be crafted, they have to express the problem without being overly long.
  • What have you done to sets you apart from others? 
  • Being innovative doesn’t come through the academy it comes from you, the academy helps.
  • This is more of selling personality 
  • Show your passion, when talking about something innovative that you implemented in your work/whatever write it to show what YOU did... don’t write about what the school did, talk about YOUR role. YOU are the one applying, not the school.
  • A presentation is not Innovative. As an EdTech bigwig to guest blog for them. Have two totally separate examples of your work with the EdTech community
  • How much do you interact and share with the edtech community? Start now. The number of follows on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook is less important than what and how often you share, discuss, and collaborate.
  • Speaking of collaboration, share you application and video script with people who will give you critical feedback.
  • Have you worked with an Innovator? Have you impressed them BEFORE they even knew you were applying just by being yourself? Recommendations help.
  • The professional of your video does not matter. Your voice and your story matter.
  • Sell both yourself and your problem, your personality is also a factor. Your problem could be awesome, but if you drone on in a monotone...
  • Don’t just apply to academies in your country or continent. Just because you took two years of Spanish, Japanese or Portuguese does not mean you can handle an academy in your foreign language. Make sure you are fluent (or close to fluent) as possible. You have a great deal to learn during those days and the year that follows.
  • Interact with other applicants. Ask questions, join the new slow chat that was started during #LON19 -> #NYCwwwChat. -> FutureGEI
  • Getting Accepted
  • Once your application has been submitted, the longest week (ten days!) of your life will begin.
  • Theoretically, the announcements are sent at 5 pm using the time zone of the Academy; however, sometimes it takes longer. Jen’s announcement went out 10 pm Mexico City time Luis’ came around 7 pm NYC time.
  • For #SWE19 our chat announced the winners before they’d gotten their emails!
  • Be mindful of the community you want to join, you will be part of an awesome group of “like-minded wackos” think of you you’ll find them and will bond with them
  • The Academy
  • Luis will know soon!
  • The weeks leading up to the Academy are amazing. The interaction between the group members as we get to know each other and complete pre-Academy assignments will keep you buzzing. Learn how to use “Do not Disturb” on your phone, especially if your group comes from multiple time zones.
  • Prepare for the hangout chat craziness, lots of it
  • You must pay for the Academy yourself. Some scholarships are available, some schools pay your way, and other Innovators use GoFundMe accounts. Because I had to pay my own way, I don’t contribute to GoFundMe, but I do purchase presents for my friends as a way to congratulate them. I had to use sick days for #MEX16 but my district allowed me business days for #MEX18 provided that I gave up the coach stipend.
  • DonorsChoose for USA Teachers
  • The academy is a DREAM!!!!!! I was a coach for #MEX18 with Fede. The Academy occurred days before the Mexican Presidential Inauguration. The King of Spain stayed in our hotel!!! 
  • For #MEX16, we went on budget. 90% of us stayed at the same hotel. This saved money on Ubers and allowed us to continue our party late into the evening. I remember arriving 3 days before the #MEX16 Academy. I traveled all over Mexico City by foot. I visited a former student and her family. I was Fidel Castro’s funeral as I rested my aching feet in the hotel before going out again with my new friends.
  • You probably won’t sleep nights during the Academy. Maybe just a little.
  • Maintaining the Certification
  • Post academy commitments, check-ins, mentors, 
  • The mentor program has greatly improved over the years. I am greatly impressed with the new roadmap that #LON19 uses. This leads to discussions and sets firm timelines.
  • While you are assigned an official mentor, really you find many people to help you with your project. Patty Zamora was my official coach, but I also received incredible help from Michelle Armstrong and Alice Keeler.
  • Quick Review & General Tips
  • It’s not about how much you like Google.
  • It’s not about the solution.
  • Not why you.
  • But have a great personality.
  • Ask for help.
  • Not be too humble
  • Don’t promote the solution
  • Communicate with others
  • Resilience
  • Work with other Google Innovators
  • You should have the heart of an innovator or already be an innovator

Ad Break

ACEd Apps

Review Previous Apps

Postal Flip 

Call Out

  • Are you planning to re/apply?
  • What are your tips?


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