Friday, January 1, 2016

All Googly-Eyed

Motivated to add some real teeth to my tech skills with my school's new (and growing) 1:1 Chromebook initiative, I plunked down ten bucks and plunged into the Google Certification for Educators, Level 1. Without any training, but after years of using Google Apps in Education, I felt a little "Johnny Come Lately" about the whole process. Not to mention that Google had suspended it's training center for a spell recently to reconfigure and regroup. One can only procrastinate for so long.

And so, after two plus hours of sitting at my dining room table during my winter vacation, locked into an incognito window on my laptop, and with my every move (in pajamas, it's vacation folks!) captured by my webcam, I passed, though I'm not sure by how much or where I might have stumbled. Unfortunately, the test doesn't disaggregate responses, despite how curious its test takers might be. However, Google nails the concept of formative assessment and applying knowledge to new situations. There was very little in the way of traditional multiple choice questions (there were some), but the bulk of the test required logging into the Google apps (using a unique username generated for the test) and completing a series of tasks using the tools we were being tested on: Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites, Gmail, Tasks, Calendar, Classroom, YouTube, and more. It was robust and challenging, and rather a fun challenge. If you are a Googly-eyed geek, like myself. On to Level Two, though not before brushing up on my Google Sheet skills. The law of averages gets me every time.

If you are an educator, make a New Year's Resolution to brush up on your Google skills, or at the very least, get the official stamp of approval from Google. It's just the sort of bling to make you stand out and shine. Visit the Google for Education Training Center and make your mark.

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