I am beyond thrilled to have been accepted to the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program.

The Certified Innovator program is a 12-month professional development experience including mentorship, online learning activities, and a face-to-face Innovation Academy focused on helping new Innovators launch a transformative project.

As I continue to grapple with not only changing my own practice, but also working towards inspiring innovation in others, I know the professional development I will gain through this experience will help me become a better leader.

At the Google for Education Innovation Academy on February 24th-26th in Mountain View, California, you will discover how to unlock creativity, translate insights into solutions, experiment rapidly, and build an effective innovation culture in your own schools and organizations. You’ll come away with practical approaches, valuable tools and techniques, and the beginnings of an Innovation Project. The Innovation Academy is only the beginning of a journey with your peers – and Google – to impact education in your communities.

This could not have come at a better time for me. I recently applied to the Teaching Learning and Leadership Program with an amazing colleague. We have big plans for reimagining teaching and learning at the junior level, taking into account ideas from the full-day kindergarten’s play-based learning, the successes I have experienced with my technology lounge, and thoughts from educational leaders such as George Couros and Will Richardson. We want to create a learning community students can’t wait to come to each and every day, where they are involved in hands-on problem solving and where their individual interests and passions are nurtured. While we are still waiting to hear the outcome of that application, we plan to proceed with our vision as best we can no matter what.

Since my colleague and I had already done so much thinking around our shared vision, coming up with a vision of innovation to articulate for Google’s application was easy.



I really look forward to seeing how the vision we have as a team will continue to be shaped by the other incredible educators I will meet in California and the input of mentors.

Now to finish scrambling to get time off approved and flights booked!


Melanie Mulcaster · January 20, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Erica, that’s great. Can’t wait to hear how it went. How exciting for you and your students!

    Ms. Armstrong · January 20, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks! Looking forward to sharing!

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