Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Google Certifications for Educators

Google has been offering professional development and certifications for educators for quite a few years. It started with the Google Certification Academy and then expanded to include a certification program for Google Apps for Education. This week Google refreshed its flagship training programs and added two NEW certifications into the mix. Here's what you need to know:

Google Apps for Education Certification

The program to certify and authorize individuals as Google experts remains unchanged, although the name of the certification has change slight to become "Google for Education Certified Trainer." The certification badge has changed as well.

The certified trainer program is designed to identify experts capable of providing training and support for Google Apps for Education, Chromebook, and Android tablets. You can learn more about becoming a Google for Education Certified Trainer here.

The Certified Trainer program is very intense and requires a deep, technical knowledge of Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Sites, and Google hardware. Maintaining your certification status requires regular professional development activity (3 per quarter) and re-certification every 12 months. For educators in the classroom, achieving and maintaining this certification may prove to be challenging. As are result, Google launched 2 NEW certification program designed for classroom teachers


New Certifications


The big change is the addition of two NEW certification specifically designed for classroom teachers:
Unlike the technical training certification, the Certified Educator program focuses on classroom applications and integration for popular Google products like Google Drive, Search, and Maps. A robust training center guides teachers through a series of exercises and instructional information.

Teachers who which to quantify their knowledge can elect to take a final exam to become an official "Google Certified Educator." Exams must be purchased at a cost of $10 (Level 1) and $25 (level 2).

Complete details on the new Certified Educator program can be found here.

**Update 6/30/15**

I purchased and took the Certified Educator, Level 1 exam on June 30. The exam format is quite nice- a mix of multiple choice and drag-and-drop questions followed by a performance based portion that requires you to complete simple tasks such as setup a class in Google Classroom, create a form, share a YouTube playlist, etc. 

Unfortunately the exam content is a bit of a mess. I was repeatedly asked to reference provided resources that were not available and accomplish tasks that my account was not authorized to complete. Needless to say, I didn't pass. I took extensive notes and sent them off to my contacts within the Google EDU team. 

It appears that there are a few bugs to work out in the new Certified Educator exam. I have confidence that the Google EDU team will get things fixed up and this will be a great products for educators in the near future. 

I will post updates on this page as I receive them. 

**Update 7/1/15**

There are several growing threads that indicate that my experience with the new exam is not unique. 
Here is a Google+ thread and a Google support thread with stories to the same effect. 

I received an email from the Google EDU team acknowledging my concern. Later in the day the Certified Educator exams were removed from the Google Training site which now reads "coming soon."


Google Certified Teachers are now "Google for Education Certified Innovators."

Google has re-branded the Google Teacher Academy program into a new innovation focused event. Details on this program are sparse right now and are expected to be revealed this summer.

As someone who is a Google Certified Teacher (now "certified innovator"), Certified Trainer, and Certified Administrator, I can honestly say that these programs have significantly impacted my life. These three programs have connected me to people, ideas, and opportunities that I never would have had access to had I not gone through the program. I would highly encourage anyone to make the investment to become a certified educator, trainer, or administrator. Becoming certified takes time, energy, and a little bit of money (for exams). To help educators be successful through the certification process, I have developed the "Google Certification Academy" a 2-day program designed to help educators determine which certification is right for them and to help them work through the necessary steps to become certified. If you would like to learn more about the Certification Academy and bring this event to your school, you can check out my other website, www.gEducator.com.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the detailed information. I am looking forward to get started with the certification.

    ReplyDelete

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