May 28, 2014

Understanding Google Certifications – from Holly Clark on Edudemic

This post first appeared on Edudemic.

A challenge of raising a connected generation of students is figuring out how to be a connected learner yourself.  This requires learning about the tools that support connections and connected learning, and to accomplish this goal you may want to consider Google Certification. Which one is the best option? Here are two great ways you can accomplish this task. First you need to know what the difference is between a Google Certified Teacher and a Google Certified Trainer?  Since there are some Google Teacher Academies coming up soon, it is time to break down the difference from both a Google Certified Teacher and Trainer. I will start with a quick overview and then give you five reasons why you would want to become either a Google Certified Teacher or a Google Certified Trainer – or both!

Google Certified Teachers

Google Certified Teachers are chosen through a rather competitive vetting process. Each application requires the applicant to answer a series of questions and submit a one-minute video (with a threat that if it is over one minute it may be disqualified). For an example of a great submission watch this  video by David Theriault

The questions try to get to the heart of the teacher’s or educator’s innovative qualities and their impact on other educators. This is not a competition about who knows Google or Google Apps for Education best, but rather how innovative you are in the classroom or school environment.

To become a Google Certified Teacher, you must first apply. Each year, there are one to two Google Teacher Academies that take place at different Google offices throughout the world. This year, however, there will be eleven Google Teacher Academies with eight taking place in Europe. I highly recommend the Mountain View option as it takes place at Google headquarters and visiting the Google Campus alone is worth the trip! Here is a list of dates:

  • June 25-26: Atlanta, USA
  • July 30-31: Mountain View, USA
  • August 28-29: Manila, Philippines
  • September 2-3: Delhi, India
  • September 30 – October 1: Sydney, Australia
  • October 15-16: Sao Paulo, Brazil (Portuguese language)
  • October 21-22: Mexico City, Mexico (Spanish language)
  • October 28-29: London, UK
  • November 4-5: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • November 8-9: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malay language)
  • December 2-3: Austin, USA

Each Google Certified Teacher Academy consists of about 12 Lead Learners who lead groups through the two-day process. The two-days process consists of one day of learning more about what Google offers educators and one edcamp-style day – pick your own sessions and vote with your feet – day of learning.

Five Reasons to Become a Google Certified Teacher

  1. The Networking… The best part of the Google Teacher Academy is the people you meet.
  2. You will belong to an exclusive group of teachers – all very passionate about technology in education and all eager to help.
  3. You get to hangout at the Google offices for two days.
  4. You get to learn from Google experts and mingle with “Googlers” (the name for people who actually work at Google).
  5. You become part of a Google Certified Teachers Group with daily communication on what is happening in the Google world, and a place to ask for help and advice.

There is no cost for the academy itself, but attendees must pay their own travel expenses.
To learn more about Google Certified Teacher please visit this website.

Google Education Trainer

A Google Education Trainer is a bit different because it isn’t as much about what you do in your classroom, it is about really learning the tools. To become a trainer, you must pass a series of tests designed to test your knowledge of Google Tools including the Google Apps for Education Admin Panel. Once you successfully pass all tests, you are considered a “Google Apps Qualified Individual.” To become a “Google Apps Certified Trainer,” you need to submit a video, a record of past workshops you’ve given, and a case study. The purpose of this process, is to show how you use Google Apps to both train other educators and innovate instruction.

To learn more about Google Certified Trainer please visit this website.

Five Reasons to Become a Google Education Trainer

  1. You can train teachers in your district with this certification and have the backing from Google.
  2. The testing process helps you learn a lot about all Google Apps for Education.
  3. You can get paid to train others on Google tools and even help them gain certification.
  4. You become part of a Google Certified Trainer group of teachers who can help you with problems and answer questions.
  5. You get to put the certification badge (pictured above) on your website or training materials.

If you are not sure which one is right for you, consider starting with the trainer. The cost is minimal – only $15.00 for each of the five tests.  Each will offer its own advantages, but either way, learning these tools and more about Google will help you be a more informed teacher and that is the most important part!

Looking to gain more Google skills before applying for a certification? Holly and her EdTechTeacher colleagues will be leading Google Chromebook & The Google-Infused Classroom workshops in Cambridge, ChicagoBerkeley, and Los Angeles this summer.