Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Life at Google
Sitting in the San Jose Airport with FREE WIRELESS! Haven't figured out why that just isn't a given in all hotels and airports now. Glad that it is here though because I have time to share some of my adventures at Google. Yesterday was jammed packed with meeting new people, experiencing great things, dreaming big dreams and learning amazing things. I arrived at Google Headquarters about 8am. I was greeted by many friendly and excited educators. Many, I already had a connection with through the contacts we had either on the wiki created before the academy or through DEN or Twitter. It was neat to put faces to names of people who I follow online in my professional learning network. We started with breakfast and jumped right in. The rest of the day moved at an amazingly fast pace. It will take me months to process all that was presented at the academy. I think that the best way to break this up is by sharing my experiences with being at the Google Headquarters and then share some of what I learned and will be experimenting with in the near future.
Google, in many ways, reminded me of a college campus, a great mix of fun, learning and food. It was explained that Googlers are even graded quarterly. They start off the quarter by writing goals or objectives for themselves, things that they want to learn, try or do. At the end of the quarter, they are graded on how well they met their goals. The Google campus is very focused on providing an atmosphere where people can be comfortable and creative. Shuttles and transportation are provided. There are courtesy bikes all around the campus. You can hop on a bike at one location, take it to another, and then leave it there for someone else to use. They have a rule that there is no place on campus more than 150 feet from food! And the food is plentiful and free! All around the campus, they have micro kitchens with a variety of healthy and not so healthy snacks. You just grab what you want whenever you feel the need. They also have amazing cafeterias scattered throughout the campus with every type of food you can imagine. There are community gardens. Solar paneled car ports where Prius drivers can plug in their car for the day. They have a laundry for any employ who wants their laundry done while they are at work. There are lap pools, volleyball courts, hiking trails and other ways to get outside and enjoy. Dogs get to come to work! All over campus, there were happy Google Dogs enjoying a run around campus while their owners took a quick break. They even had massage facilities and the toilet seats are heated! Beyond all of these great creature comforts, there were lots of efforts to be earth friendly as well. They used compostable cups and silverware. No water bottles. They provided refillable water pitchers instead. They have a huge amount of solar panels that run over 1/3 of the campus. Google is all about encouraging creativity and innovation. It is neat to see how that model works. Obviously, Google is very successful. They believe that great is not good enough. They believe that you can make money without doing evil. I think of the implications in school. When students basic needs are met, they are more able to concentrate on learning. Set the bar high. No hand holding. Students should be encouraged to figure things out for themselves. Lots more true learning and innovation comes from having to figure things out for yourself. Work in teams. Have fun learning and growing. More on all the tools I learned about later. Time to board the plane. Pin It Now!