As teachers everywhere are getting their classrooms and lesson plans in order, one East Hampton teacher is also looking forward to some learning he'll be doing this fall.
Google Headquarters accepted , an science teacher who leads the science department there, as 1 of 50 educators nationwide to attend their Google Teacher Academy 2012 in New York City.
This free professional development conference is designed to help kindergarten through 12th grade teachers how to best use innovative technologies. The one-day event will offer hands-on experience with Google's products and technologies, while participants will also learn about instruction strategies, and receive resources to share with colleagues.
"Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local regions and beyond," according to a statement released from the company released on Wednesday.
Merkert is no stranger to the use of such technology in the classroom. During the 2011-12 school year, he reinvented his teaching curriculum, using Flipped Teaching, which takes the lecturing component out of the classroom and onto short videos students watch from home to allow for more hands-on instruction during class. He uses Google's Chromebooks, to allow for instant Internet access in the classroom, where textbooks have nearly become a thing of the past.
The initiative led to him being named the Science Teachers Association of New York Science Teacher of the Year Award for the Suffolk County region in the spring.
"I am extremely honored to have been selected for this exclusive and cutting edge conference," Merkert said. "With great excitement, I look forward to experiencing and learning more new and innovative ways to help meet the needs of today’s students; along with having the opportunity to bring innovative educational techniques and resources back to my home district to further assist in staff developing our faculty and staff."
To apply for the program, Merkert had to make a one minute video.
"As far as technology goes, Google is the ultimate laboratory/playground," he said. "This will then be shared with my staff back in East Hampton, as I will become a Google Certified Teacher and requested to do development in local districts."
The academy will take place Oct. 3.