Monday, September 12, 2011

Second week is Google Camp!

Our training continues at Google headquarters in Mountain View. On Sunday, the gang of 4 from San Francisco (Dan, Jessica, Mun and Uno) met at the CalTrains station on King Street, San Francisco, and took the 3:15pm train to Mountain View. Two hours later, we checked into Hotel Adante and met Lucy, SJ and Lynn of HandsOn Tech Corps for the first time.

On Monday, a shuttle took us the to 1500 Plymouth Street for check-in and training at the Google campus. We met our 3 hosts/trainers who are Seth Marbin, Debbie Newhouse and Matt Severson. After a welcome, introduction and icebreaker session, we dived into "Google for Nonprofits" presented by Leslie Hernandez. NPO can apply for this program and get "free" access to some google products such as AdWords. After that, we had our first google lunch. In the afternoon, we broke out into 5 different groups to learn about 5 different google products, which are Google Apps/Forms, Google Maps/Places/FusionTable, Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Google Plus/Hangout. Finally, Kami from CTN did a workshop on nonprofit culture.

On Tuesday, we got product overviews of Google Earth, YouTube, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Facebook. Each of the 5 trainee groups from Monday took turn to take notes on Google Apps. We had lunch as well as dinner at Google today. We also had a bicycle tour of the Google campus and stopped by the Google store on our way to one of their "bigger" cafes for dinner.

On Wednesday morning, we heard from Seth Marbin about resource gathering, James Franklin of TechBridge and SJ of HandsOn about tech assessments. In the afternoon, we heard from Debbie Newhouse of Google about the Making the Switch, a book written by Dan Heath and Chip Heath, that we were supposed to read. Finally, SJ broke us up into 4 groups, and had us apply the concepts we learned in the book to nonprofit organizations. The book talks mostly how to facilitate changes, but not much about assessments (although the authors may have covered assessments in previous books they have written). I feel assessments are very important because they answer if changes are needed and what kind of changes.

On Thursday, Mark Ball of Google did a workshop on putting the 9 Switch strategies into use. Then, Allen Gunn of AspirationTech talked about the organizational considerations of nonprofit organizations. He stressed that technology should not the magic solution to problems, which I thought was a good counterpoint to almost everything we had heard so far, as well as a good segue to the afternoon session. In the afternoon, we broke into 5 groups to talk to 5 nonprofits organizations. We had the opportunity to practice doing a tech assessment for them, and to present our recommendations.

On Friday, Jeff Davis of Google talked about the future of Cloud Computing, followed by a debriefing, reflection and good bye session mostly led by Seth. After grabbing a lunch bag, we all head back to the hotel. The gang of 4 from San Francisco took CalTrains back to San Francisco.

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