Building a culture of innovation

Issue: Volume 96, Number 6

Posted: 10 April 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7L

Tarawera High School’s Sam Gibson will travel to London in April to attend the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program, along with 35 other educators from around the world.

Sam Gibson is Tarawera High School’s professional development e-learning leader, and project manager for the Te Aka Toitū Trust, which supports digital education in Kawerau and Whakatane. He is also the only teacher from Australasia chosen to attend an Innovation Academy, to be held at Google Headquarters in Covent Garden, London, in mid-April.

Participants in the three-day Innovation Academy will come away with valuable tools and the beginnings of an innovation project based on their vision. With the help of Google, Sam Gibson’s viion will drive a shift in education and be documented for other educators to follow. Sam says his innovation project will be based around the work of Te Aka Toitū in the Bay of Plenty region.

“I will also be trying to encourage teachers to create collaborative, multi-level sites that allow our students to access their work anywhere, anytime and at any pace,” he says.

In London Sam will be joining 35 other certified educators from around the world to learn more about how to unlock creativity, translate insights into solutions, experiment and build an effective innovation culture in schools and organisations.

Chosen for his professional experience and passion for teaching and learning, it is Sam’s innovative use of technology in school settings and his potential impact on other educators that will see him rub shoulders with like-minded educators.

Tarawera High School principal Helen Tuhoro says Sam’s dedication to e-learning at the school has been second to none.

“He has been an integral part of the establishment of e-learning at Tarawera High, going back to 2014."

“Through his Google knowledge and many initiatives, such as the Te Aka Toitū Trust, Sam has been able to share this expertise not just of Tarawera High School students but all students of Kawerau.”

Already a Google Certified Educator and a Google for Education Certified Trainer, Sam is looking forward to adding Google for Education Certified Innovator to one of his many roles.
He says the process of applying to participate in the programme is an involved one.

“First you need to be a Level 2 certified educator,” he says. “Then someone needs to nominate you. After that you have to submit a video, outlining the innovative idea that you want to push in the classroom or with teachers you work with.”

Sam says he also had to submit something called a ‘vision deck’, outlining his achievement aims.

“The last part of the application was to answer all sorts of interesting questions. They chose 36 educators, and I heard they received around 300 applications. We’ll work together and be paired up with mentors from Google to push forward with our vision over the next 12 months.”

For more information on the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 7:23 PM, 10 April 2017

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