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In 2012 we were invited to present at the Google Teacher Academy in Google’s New York City office. The Google Teacher Academy or GTA is a professional development opportunity for educators from around the world. At the event, attendees receive two days of learning from teachers and Googlers. We were thrilled to have students presenting, a first, at a Google Teacher Academy.
At the event we presented to the whole group, worked with educators individually, and learned throughout the whole process. One of the expectations of attending a GTA is that teachers will create an 'Action Plan'. This plan utilizes the knowledge they have learned throughout the day and is designed to share with as many others as they can. Action Plans are as varied as the educators building them and have birthed some incredible work, like Jerome Berg’s Google Lit Trips, Carrie Anne Philbin’s Geek Gurl Diaries and Jim Sill’s work Remaining Young.
Once the students learned what was expected of the educators, they decided they wanted to create their own version or a Student Action Plan. It would take what they had learned from the experience and give back to others. As we took the train back to Portland, Maine we started throwing out ideas. It was inspiring to hear how quickly the students were able to think of ways to give back globally. Ultimately we decided on The Tech Sherpas. A group of students who would provide tech support of educators everywhere. We started a weekly live tech support Google Hangout On Air that is watched by educators around the world.