Dr. Lynne Herr, digital teaching and learning specialist for Educational Service Unit 6, was one of 36 educators worldwide selected to be part of Google’s Certified Innovator Academy.
Herr said Google seems to do everything quickly. Her application was due Sept. 5 and the innovators were announced Sept. 17.
Since the day she found out she was selected, Herr has hit the ground running to meet weekly assignments given to her by Google.
“We had a three-day intense in-person academy and then we have ongoing video chat meetings and we are to accomplish our project by next October, so a year from now,” Herr said.
Herr was tasked with recording audio interviews one week. She said there were many challenges with this task, but each challenge brings a lesson she can later use.
“We’re in a 13-hour time zone difference and I’m dealing with a lot of people who really don’t have English as a language,” she said. “So part of it is just how can you find ways around any obstacle that you face in something that you’re trying to reach, no matter what that is. And I think that piece is always applicable to all of us, just as humans and the school.
“Everything that we’re trying to do we face new obstacles all the time at the school, and we always need innovative ways of approaching those obstacles to hopefully come up with productive solutions.”
Herr and 35 others selected worldwide will attend a training in Stockholm, Sweden, starting on Nov. 6.
While in Sweden, Herr will visit local schools. She said she is excited to see how other countries operate from an educational standpoint.
“I’ve already seen the benefits of working with educators who are from multiple different countries and different systems, just different perspectives,” Herr said. “I think often in the United States, and in Nebraska, we kind of start to see things through the same lens because just the culture that we’re in. I’m really looking forward to seeing first-hand how other countries and other areas address education, what’s working, what’s not.”
After Herr finishes her year, she will be a Google Certified Innovator from then on.
“Once you are chosen to be an innovator, that’s it. I’ll know more about this after the training but there are requirements to keep your innovator status. So you go for the initial kickoff and as long as you keep practicing innovation, you stay part of the innovator group,” Herr said.
Once certified, Herr will be part of 2,200 innovators worldwide.