With each Google certification, I have described the process as a journey. It has really felt like that because I started from scratch. Before moving to Hong Kong and my current school of VSA (just over three years ago), I had no knowledge of Google products beyond the search engine and certainly no understanding of how they could be meaningfully integrated into lessons. Ironically, I had no interest in educational technology. How things have changed! I’ve told this story many times but it all started with an EdTechTeam conference in Hong Kong. I only went because I was IT rep for my grade, but the transformational uses of technology that were on display blew my mind! I was missing out and, more to the point, so were my students. I’ve been committed to self-learning ever since.
You can read my older posts here:
My journey to Google Certified Educator (May 2016)
Google Certified Educator Level 2: the journey continues… (November 2016)
I’m delighted to announce that my journey has continued beyond Level 2 and taken a new trajectory into teacher training. I am now an official Google for Education Certified Trainer.
Why become a Certified Trainer?
This introduction in the Google Training Center sums it up well:
“Let’s make it official. Combine your expertise in Google tools with your love of helping others. Become a Certified Trainer to support educators as they redefine learning with technology.”
Let’s break this down. Firstly, “let’s make it official” acknowledges the work that has already been done and is ongoing. Training others is not something that I will suddenly start doing because of a fancy new badge. I have worked hard on this for a long time already, and this is explained in the second part: I love helping others. I really do. It’s why I accept this responsibility with excitement and enthusiasm and why I have taken the leap into school leadership this academic year. As a Certified Trainer (and Head of Year), I can support more educators (also stated above) and have an indirect impact on more children. I love the idea of helping more teachers to integrate Google products for the benefit of their students.
The following are the five main steps of the process:
- You must first be Level 2 certified
- Complete the Trainer course
The Certified Trainer course involves seven units of self-paced learning. In a nutshell, the units are about facilitating training sessions, various styles of support (such as coaching, modelling, blended learning, etc.), differentiating for different needs and generally about developing a greater knowledge of Google for Education.
- Pass the skills assessment
This is a 90-minute test consisting of twenty-five multiple choice and matching questions. It was actually very straightforward so don’t let this put you off.
- Create a 3-minute training video
This should start with an introduction of yourself and an explanation of why you want to be a Google for Education Certified Trainer. It should then lead to a short demonstration of a Google tool/function and, importantly, an explanation of how it adds value to the students’ learning (screencasts are preferred).
- Submit your application
Outline your training experience to date and submit evidence of those sessions, such as presentation slides and participants’ feedback.
As part of my commitment to Google training, I should host twelve sessions per year. This might sound like a lot, but they don’t all have to be large events. Here are my initial ideas:
- Google Certified Educator Level 2 for VSA colleagues
Following a ‘boot camp’ PD day, many of my colleagues have recently become certified at Level 1. Though highly successful, the process also felt a little rushed. We now need to allow time for this new confidence and expertise to have an impact in classrooms. I would like to guide interested colleagues through Level 2 but at a gentler pace and in the style of a PLC. This might include monthly meetings to check progress and address difficulties. Between sessions, I will support with classroom integration.
- School admin staff
Our office staff members have also expressed an interest in some Google training. Although they’re not teachers, they are using G Suite and other Google products as part of their admin responsibilities.
I feel that our parent community would also benefit from some training and support. With their parent accounts, they are also part of our Google domain and regular users of Google products such as Gmail, Google Drive and Google Classroom. With some training, they will be able to make better use of these products and rely less on their children!
- Video tutorials
I have mentioned previously how much I value YouTube for professional learning, especially regarding technology tutorials. I would like to contribute by creating short videos that demonstrate and explain tools and functions, much like the one that I had to create for this application. I want to build my library of helpful videos on my YouTube channel. Watch this space.
For larger events, I’d love to work with fellow trainers around Hong Kong (or further). Let’s put our heads together! I look forward to collaborating with you.
“Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.”
I am thrilled to be recognised as a Google for Education Certified Trainer because I love these products and recognise the value that they add to learning. I encourage you to self-learn through the website. To start your own journey with Google (or continue it), visit the Google Training Center and take your next step. As always, let me know if I can help. Not just because I’m a nice guy, but because it’s my role!
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