#GooglePDStories: Stepping Up

London Summit Ft Google Education-Step Up
By Lawrence Tijjani 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent. AppsEvents is a Google Certified Partner who are responsible for providing training across Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. I’ve been working towards my Google Educator Certification (Level 1 and 2 completed) and I work in various schools co-ordinating their use of ICT. So this was a great opportunity for me. Although I was little hesitant to take up the opportunity, not because I didn’t want to do it but I worried whether my body would fail me just as I was about to present to the audience. If this is first blog post you have read read from me, I suffer from Epilepsy and an unexplained pain syndrome.)

I guess after the last four years my confidence has been dented somewhat following numerous attacks, periods of not being able to walk and being in and out of hospital. When I was teaching I always used to tell my students that nothing grows in the comfort zone, greatness occurs only when you are challenging and pushing yourself. But I think inadvertently I had placed myself in that very same comfort zone without actually realising it. It’s only when I reflect on how long I took to say ‘yes I’ll do it’ did it hit me. Some people may say that leaving a full-time job is not playing it safe but I guess this just felt different. On a bad day pain can be hidden or meetings rescheduled. But when you are presenting to professionals within an allocated time period, there is no do-over or delay till later.

I’m proud to say I made my debut. I stepped up, tapped in or whatever other wrestling analogy you can think of. I was present. I prepared my session, I sought feedback, I troubleshooted and rehearsed a few times. I wanted the participants to develop their confidence using Google Forms in their classrooms so I made sure I provided them with enough practical tips and opportunities to try a range of assessment techniques. Once the session actually began, my nerves fizzled away. It felt good to be present, communicating about something I love, sharing my knowledge with others. In a small way it reminded me again just how resilient I can be. But only if I choose to say yes.

Sometimes opportunities come knocking when you least expect them and you need take them with both hands. I can’t completely control my conditions but I can make sure I am as prepared as possible.

I am going to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why…I succeed”

N.B What is Google Forms?

Google Forms is a G-Suite application that allows you to create dynamic forms. It’s flexibility in functionality allows you to manage event registrations, whip up quick polls, collect email addresses for a newsletter, create quick step-through tests and much more.The session I lead on focussed on using Google Forms for Assessment and understanding how they can be used to support differentiation.

About the Author

Lawrence Tijjani, Happy2Host Co-founder

After studying Software Engineering in University, Lawrence combined his passion for working with young people and Computing. He has been involved in Education for over 10 years as a former Computing Teacher, later Head of Faculty and IT Co-ordinator at St Michael’s Catholic College.

He was responsible for introducing and developing Computing at KS3, GSCE and A-level at the College. In addition to the pastoral responsibility of a year group and the management of other subject leaders. He has recently left classroom teaching to take up an exciting IT consultancy role with Inspire Through Teaching and supports other schools with the use and development of G-suite.

In addition Lawrence is also the creator of ‘justaguytryingtomakeit.com’- an inspirational social enterprise project that works with disengaged students.

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