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Consider taking advantage of Google training and certificate opportunities if you
- are looking to enhance your teaching and learning;
- are looking for ways to create clear, organized, and meaningful learning experiences for students while operating online; or
- are an avid Google user looking to learn about new features or better tailor your teaching.
Google for Education provides multiple online courses and exams for educators looking to use Google with their students. You’re able to pick and choose what is interesting and relevant to you and your class, and you’re also able to go as far as you want with the training and take ending certification exams that you can highlight on your résumé.
Step 1: Coursera Google Courses
Google offers seven online courses that focus on a range of topics that enable educators to use Google products effectively with students to best facilitate learning. These are courses that you can take online at your own pace. The first two prepare you for the Google Educator Certification exams and are about 13 hours:
- Fundamentals Training: This is a great place to start if you want to brush up on your skills and learn about Google features that you might not be using.
- Advanced Training: This is a great next step, especially if you want to take the educator exams! This is where you test your Google Skills.
The following three courses are much shorter than that first two, ranging from just 35 minutes to about 3 hours; however, they focus on topics tailored to using Google to teach.
- Digital Citizenship and Safety Training
- Tools for Diverse Learners Training
- Support English Language Learners
- Distance Learning for Educators
- Chromebook Training
Step 2: Take the Certification Exams Online
After you take a few or all of the Google courses, you are able to sit for two different certification exams where you can demonstrate your understanding. These exams can be taken for a small fee; however, they offer a great way to show what you know in your résumé:
- Educator Level 1 Exam
- Educator Level 2 Exam
3 Ways to Spice It Up!
Online courses or exams can sometimes feel a bit bland; however, there are multiple ways that you can spice it up and tailor your experience. Consider doing one or all of the following to spice up your experience participating in the Google courses and all online professional development in general.
Tip 1: Complete a course with a colleague or department. Together, set a goal of which course to complete and find ways to connect with one another and discuss. You might meet via Zoom or Skype for 30 minutes to discuss what you learned, how you will apply it to your course, or even help each other review technical elements.
Tip 2: Working with one or multiple people, assign different colleagues a course or unit to complete. Then, have them present the material to the group via video conferencing in an interesting and engaging way. The presentations might focus on how the learned information applies to your specific EL context or community.
Tip 3: Lastly, you might work with a colleague to review the material from the courses to study for the educator exams. You could review different elements of Google, think about how you would apply this to your teaching, or even quiz each other.
No matter whether you are a novice or advanced Google user, these Google courses and certifications are a great way to test your skills and highlight it for others. This is one way to start thinking about how you want to tailor your teaching for the coming academic year. Plus, this is great knowledge to share with your colleagues over the summer or once the academic year begins again.
To learn more about Google for Education, consider viewing the Google Professional Development Handbook.