Saturday, May 19, 2018

#GoogleEI: Taking a Risk

The Journey Begins...

It was almost two years ago when I first heard about Google's Certified Innovator (#GoogleEI) program. Honestly, it sounded cool, but way above me. It's only for super amazing, connected, world-changing educators, right? I couldn't envision myself ever being in a place where I would be "good enough" to take part.

Over the course of time, my perspective started to change. I saw many friends get into the program, and their excitement was infectious! I finally came around to deciding that I might like to apply, but I was in grad school and drowning in the amount of work I had to do each weekend. I had to remind myself that when I said "yes" to grad school, I knew I was saying "no" to other things for a short period of time, so I could just get through. After I finished my degree, though, all of my excuses were gone, and it was time for me to find the courage to take that step and apply.

I waited impatiently for the next English cohort to be announced, and was excited to hear about #LAX18!

Application & Reflection

I truly meant it when I tweeted that the application was a learning & growing process. Whether I get in or not, the application itself is worth it because of the way it's made me reflect, think big, connect with others, and truly understand the nature of the "problem" I posed. In education, it is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the big picture. This brought the big picture into much clearer focus, and gave me a reason to spend lots of time thinking about it. I loved it! The application also challenged my creativity & out-of-the-box thinking.

While I knew I wanted to apply, I was having trouble feeling inspired about what I had to offer until I attended the Aspen EdTechTeam Summit. The way that weekend pulled me out of a rut and got me inspired made me hungry for more professional development around innovative, visionary educators!

I have to give a huge shout-out and thank you to all of my friends who helped me with my application: @MsVenturino, @meagan_e_kelly, @JLenore24, @btcostello05, & @namcmurtry Your feedback helped make it better, and your encouragement kept me going!

The Video

You might be thinking, "Come on, show me the video already!" The application has both a written portion and a video, and the video definitely took the most time. Everything within me wants to give some kind of disclaimer here about the million things I wish were better, but truly, I am happy with what I created.

What now?

Well, first up is a long ten days of waiting! That's actually a very quick turnaround time, but it feels like forever when you are on the other end! If I get in, I will be super excited for a visit to Venice in July! If I don't get in, I will probably tweak my application for the next round. Here's to hoping!

If you have thought about it. #JustPushSubmit. It's scary, it's challenging, it's hard work, but it's also very rewarding. That makes it worth it! And if you ever want someone to look over your application to give you feedback...feel free to reach out!


  1. Hi Aubrey,

    This is a really inspiring post. I considered going for it this year but I talked myself out of it, Not really sure if I have what it takes. Certiified Innovators are indeed inspirational and creative. I was nervous about not quite being able to meet the standard. You post has taught me that self-doubt should not hold us back. What’s the worst that could happen? I like how you have written this even before you know the result. It shows vulnerability, a growth mindset and risk-taking. All things I admire in bloggers and educators. As you say, you can always reapply next time. No problem.

    Having said that, I’m sure that you will be successful. Very worthy indeed!

    Best of luck and keep me posted!


    1. Adam - thank you so much for your comment, that is really affirming to me, as I was pretty nervous posting this. I highly encourage you to go for it! I hate the idea/possibility of failure, but I'm trying to reframe it and remember that even just completing the application helped me grow, and THAT is what it's all about. If you need help or someone to bounce ideas around with...tweet me!