I received a phone call this week from an Oklahoma teacher interested in becoming “Google Certified.” She’s interested in learning more about “Going Google” in her classroom and also becoming certified as a Google teacher or trainer. Rather than just provide her with my answers to these questions, I’m also posting my ideas here since this is likely of interest to many others!

One of the best ways to get updated on Google tools for the classroom is to attend a Google Summit. These are now offered by different groups including the EdTechTeam and Educational Collaborators. The EdTechTeam is bringing a Google Summit to Oklahoma City next year, February 21-22, 2015, at Bishop McGuinness High School. My top recommendation for a face-to-face event on Google Tools is to attend a summit like this!

EdTechTeam Oklahoma Summit

Many of the resources from past summits are available online. I shared 4 presentations at the EdTechTeam’s Google Summit in Richardson, Texas, this past June (in the Dallas area) and links to ALL the session resources are linked from this Google Site. My sessions (and resource links) were:

I’m currently in Visalia, California, and am co-presenting a full-day workshop tomorrow with Carol Anne McGuire for Educational Collaborators in Woodlake Unified School District just outside Sequoia National Park. We are presenting a full day of PD introducing teachers to “Google Apps for Education,” or GAFE. Most of the resources for this two day workshop series were created by Julene Reed. All the resources the four of us are sharing with teachers in Woodlake are available on a Google Site.

Google Summits and GAFE workshops are great ways to learn about Google tools, but they don’t offer the chance to get “certified” as a Google Teacher or Trainer. In May, Holly Clark wrote an excellent post for Edudemic explaining the differences between these programs. The Google Teacher Academy requires teachers to submit an application and a 60 second video, and are held around the world just a few times per year. Because of the large volume of applications and the limited number of slots for Google Teacher Academies, my perception is that it’s harder at this point to be accepted and become a “Google Certified Teacher” than to go through the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer.

To become a Certified Google Trainer, teachers (or anyone else) can take free online courses from Google and then take a series of five online tests, which cost $15 each. At this point I’m a Google Certified Teacher (#gtaco 2009 in Boulder, CO) but not a Google Certified Trainer. The summer application to become a “Google Certified Trainer” is open until August 15th, and I have applied.. It is a worthwhile program to complete, and there are a number of teachers who have obtained “certification” in both programs. Once you’ve completed these training modules you can request to have your name listed in the official Google Education Trainer Directory.

2 final ways to learn more about Google tools (as well as other educational technology resources and strategies) are to attend an EdCamp and participate in the K-12 Online Conference in October. Both of these professional development opportunities are FREE. All Oklahoma EdCamps (future and past) are now listed on www.edcampOK.org. Upcoming EdCamps and PLAYDATE PD events in Oklahoma (also listed on this subscribable Google Calendar) include:

  1. 8/9/2014: EdCamp Broken Arrow (@edcampBA) at Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow #edcampBA
  2. 9/6/2014: EdCamp Southeast Oklahoma (@edcampSEok) at Southeastern Oklahoma State University – McCurtain County Campus in Idabel #edcampSEOK
  3. 9/20/2014: EdCamp Stillwater (@EdCampStilly) at the College of Education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater #edcampStilly
  4. 10/11/2014: PLAYDATE OKC at John Marshall High School in OKCPS #playdate14
  5. 2/28/2015: EdCampOKC 2015 (@edcampOKC) #edcampOKC

   

The FREE K-12 Online Conference starts in October, and will feature 40+ recorded video presentations (like TED Talks, 20 minutes or less each) over a three week timeperiod. The call for proposals for #k12online14 is still open, by the way, and closes August 15th. I’m sure many presenters will address the use of Google Tools in some form or fashion in their presentations this year! Some may even focus specifically on Google apps / GAFE. Please plan to participate, and consider submitting a proposal!

Whether or not you’re an Oklahoma teacher, hopefully this information about Google training and learning opportunities is helpful! You can also follow the Twitter hashtags #gafesummit, #gafe, and #googleEDU to stay up to date!


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