Google Recognizes Tech-Savvy Teachers from Top City Schools

By Emily Frost on October 2, 2012 6:26pm | Updated on October 3, 2012 9:32am

MANHATTAN — Four New York City teachers will join the hyper-selective two-day Google Teacher Academy starting Wednesday at the company's New York City offices. 

Teachers from all over the world will participate in the conference, where they'll become "Google Certified Teachers," and learn about how to apply Google's latest technology at school.

Among the 12 teachers from New York State, four are from Manhattan and Brooklyn schools.

They are: Adena Dershowitz, an education technology specialist at the Upper East Side K-12 Lycée Français de New York; Matthew Moran, a math and technology teacher at the Upper West Side Dwight Schoola preschool-12 International Baccalaureate World School; Andrew Drozd of the public Academy of Urban Planning high school in Brooklyn; and Jennifer Kirsch, a fourth grade teacher at the Upper East Side K-12 all girls Hewitt School.

At the conference, now in its sixth year, the 60 teachers will also be recognized for their work bringing technology into their classrooms.

In her one minute admissions video, Dershowitz said that her students use technology to "interface with industry experts," "design and program games," "strategically search the Internet," "beta test their prototypes," and "raise awareness about global issues."  

Moran said he's used Google docs and Google reader to shape his own development and he shares those tools with his school. "As with students and teachers, I do my best work when I use technology to help motivate my learning," he said.  Moran is also an organizer of TEDxNYED, an independent education conference based on the popular TED series. 

Kirsch said she also thought technology was "one of the most successful motivators for student learning."  She's been using student blogs with her fourth graders at the Hewitt School for the last four years. Because the blogs will be read by the public, including family members and fellow classmates, "students tend to take more ownership of their work," Kirsch said.
Drozd has focused on creating a well-designed classroom website, which he said, "creates transparency between the teacher's expectation and student performance."
"It is critical that we as educators share innovative teaching practices  as a way to prevent a new generation of teachers from reinventing the wheel," he said.