“The Age of Google”
There’s been a lot of fuss about the upcoming Google Teacher Academy for Administrators lately. I look at the site and the application process and was quite disturbed with what I saw. I saw a huge attempt at privatizing education. From the little “Im a Google Teacher” badge every accepted applicant recieves to the application itself, it appears that Google is not content with dominating the virtual world but is infecting our school systems.
First off, these badges. As written by David Jakes on his blog, I agree that teachers tend to miss out on a lot of local recognition which can create a dire need for it. This, however, is the totally wrong way to do it. Teachers are flaunting this, and other corporate sponsored logos, on their blogs and pretty much any appropriate opportunity. These badges do not symbolize your portfolios, your work, and the lives you’ve helped to shape. All they do is help get that company’s logo. I’m not saying teachers should not be proud of their professional developments, but the fact that you maintain a blog and the lesson plans that you develop say far more about you as a teacher than a small image file.
Then I saw the application. One of the most important requirements is the 1 minute long video that MUST be posted on Youtube (owned by Google) on the following topic: “Innovative Education Leadership in the Age of Google”. Something about that makes me feel uneasy. “The age of Google”? Somehow this “Academy” is beggining to sound more like a Google indoctrination camp. I am definitely curious to know what actually goes on. The whole seminar reeks of corporate sponsorship.
It’s hard to determine the line on where recognition and support in education should come from. Views vary from 100% government to 100% corporations. I personally am unable to determine my own line the sand but I know that this “Academy” should be taken with a grain of salt. For a badge you can truly be proud of, you should have to do a little more than make a quick advocation video for a company to attend a 1 day seminar.