A recent blog post by George Couros states that we shouldn’t just bounce back from the coronavirus school closures – we should “bounce forward”. What can we take from this far-from-ideal situation that will enhance what we do even after schools reopen? Like I’ve said before, I believe that we have an excellent opportunity for professional development. Whatever that looks like for you, grab it! The courses below might offer a useful starting point.
In all of the discussions on educational technology right now, some tools seem to come up more than most. This is understandable. There are certain apps in my technology toolbelt that I consider to be core tools, especially while schools are closed. These allow for authentic learning to continue even while students are at home. The good news is that they have certification programmes that will help you to use the tools and, more importantly, help you to use them well! They also recognise your efforts with certification badges and extra perks. The below courses are available right now and, in most cases, they’re free!
I already wrote a post that covered the first five below. You can revisit it here. It was written in 2017 so some of the information might be out of date. Besides, the links are here:
- Seesaw Ambassador
- Flipped Learning Certified Level 1
- Newsela Certified Educator
- Google Certified Educator Level 1
- Apple Teacher
Here are five more certification courses that will enhance your remote teaching and help you to “bounce forward”:
Edpuzzle actually offers a range of different courses, including some beginner options to get you started. But anyone who has used Edpuzzle before should be able to jump straight into the Edpuzzle Coach advanced course. When I did this, I learnt a lot about Edpuzzle’s advanced features such as the assessment options and data tracking.
Alice Keeler presents this Genius! course that will take your Screencastify practice to the next level! In particular, this course is about using Screencastify with Google apps, so you’ll learn a lot about Google products as well. Alice shows what best practice looks like for creating lessons, providing feedback and much more!
Flipgrid offers three levels of certification. The first, “Blast Off”, is about empowering student voice with the foundational skills and applications of Flipgrid. If you are already using Flipgrid, you will find the requirements for Level 1 very basic and might want to consider Level 2: Dive Deeper. You’ll need Level 1 first though.
Even though I’ve been using Kahoot! for many years, this course brought my attention to many advanced features that I was unaware of. You’ll need to start with Bronze and then work your way up. Each section ends with a short assignment quiz, so you’ll need to download the Kahoot! app onto your phone or tablet. If you fail an assignment, you’ll need to wait for the following Monday for the next game PIN.
This is the only one on this list that I haven’t completed yet because I have only recently discovered BrainPOP (it’s free for the rest of the year due to the closures). The certification programme is currently accepting applications for summer 2020. More useful at this stage though is the BrainPOP 101 course that is required before you can apply anyway. It can be completed at any time and should only take around thirty minutes.
Good luck with the above courses and let me know if you have any questions. Do you recommend any other certification courses? How have you been using this time to grow professionally? Please leave a comment below and keep bouncing forward!
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