There has been a lot of discussion lately about the GTAdmin conference in San Antonio in March. Soon after it was announced David Jakes posted a list of concerns about the Academy. His concerns included whether it would be different enough that the admins would benefit from it, is it just about 'the badge' and that it needs to be about more than just the tools. Many other people got into the conversation both for and against but this evening I read Mark Gardner's response to the debate. He addresses the fact that it will be geared toward administrators but it is about the tools.
I will let you go and read those if you haven't already since I won't be able summarize them well enough.
What I wanted to do with this post is to explain (mostly to myself) why I will apply to GTAdmin.
While I agree that it needs to be different than the teacher academy, I still think we are all teachers and knowing how it can be used in the classroom is the most important part. It's about the students and how we can find ways to help make their education more innovative. While knowing how to set up and administer Google Docs would be beneficial to the Tech Directors it would mean nothing to the other administrators while the features of the Google Apps would mean something to everyone. I would assume they would give examples of how to use them for teacher/administrator collaboration as well as classroom use. I know I would walk away with a better knowledge of what Google Apps (and other Google products - since I just discovered Alerts, I'm sure I'm missing out on many things) would do as for our school.
The next thing that I appreciate is that this Academy is all about the tools. In another portion of my PLN, we have had a lot of conversation about it not being about the tools. While I agree it is much more about the pedagogy than it is about the tools, I think you have to be exposed to the possibilities and then apply them to your particular part of education. I appreciate that they are focussing on the tools and then allowing the people to discuss the pedagogy in their new and existing networks.
And finally the network is the real reason I am applying. While I don't care about 'the badge', I do care about the new network of people I would be exposed to. My ever expanding PLN is what gives me the opportunity to become a better educator and more importantly help my teachers, students and school be the best it can be.
So while I don't know that I will get the opportunity to go to GTAdmin, after the debate in the edublogosphere I now am clear on why I want to apply.
...Now to think about what @courosa said on Twitter about not having corporate advertising in schools and how Google Certified Teachers and Apple Distinguished Educators fall into that category. Definitely too much for my brain tonight. Another post, another day.