This summer I made a goal to become a Google Certified Educator I & II. I felt that the credentials would be helpful as a technology presenter. It would also give me the understanding to train my peers to use the powerful tools of Google Apps in the classroom. As a dedicated learner always trying to improve my practice I also wanted to go through the trainings for personal development. It was with this resolve that I began the process of certification.
I feel that the training I went through to prepare for the exams was worthwhile and helpful to my practice. I am very competent with computers. I teach computer classes at a magnet for technology. However, my district has not yet opened the doors to use Google Apps for Education (though it’s coming in just a few weeks). I felt I lacked the depth of classroom knowledge that teaching through Google would provide. The lessons in the training center gave me the confidence to proceed.
Google Educator Level I:
Go through all of the trainings at the Google Training Center to open your understanding of the power of Google. You will need to commit to doing this as it does take several hours to work through.
I have used Docs and slide before, and had made a few simple forms. I had programmed data with sheets, and by all means I understood how to search Google and I had even uploaded a few videos to Youtube. I had a g-mail account, (though I rarely used it), and had used a calendar in the past, though not in the past few years. In some ways I had a fundamental knowledge of Google, but even with this fundamental knowledge, I would not suggest taking the test without reviewing through the Google Training Center. If you are newer than myself, you will need to spend more time practicing the lessons from the training center, but the training will prepare you for the exam. If you are already very proficient, by no means you are required to go through the training center, but I still feel a review for confidence is helpful.
The test is not hard, but it does test endurance. There is an objective portion of test and then a practicum of tests and scenarios that you need to complete. The test gives you a situation and a drive folder of documents for you to create and/or manipulate. I believe the test accurately assesses if you have the skills to be considered a Google Educator.
Google Educator II
I went through the advanced training center in December with plans to become certified before the end of the year. The Advanced Training is more intense in that it gets to more specific uses of Google Tools. In the advanced course you are assumed to be a leader in your school who helps transform your environment using Google Tools. Of course, you do not necessarily have to already be this leader, but someone interested in taking on the leadership role. It describes the various sorts of charts you can create in sheets, and even shows some ways to aggregate data.
The test is like the Google I test in that there is both an objective component as well as a practicum of scenario tasks in which you are given a Google Drive folder to complete.
I feel accomplished that I made the goal to become a Google Educator and indeed I became just that. I believe my own understanding of the tools and how to use them in the educational setting has expanded and the certification has given me the confidence and credentials to help others at my school, district, state, and beyond learn these powerful Google Tools to improve the depth of collaboration in my classroom.