Episode 28 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores how teachers can become Google certified and the positive effect this can have.
Podcast Episode 28 Transcript
Welcome to The Teaching Space podcast, coming to you from Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
Hello and welcome to Episode 28 of The Teaching Space Podcast. It's Martine here. Thank you so much for joining me. Today's episode is about How Teachers Can Become Google Certified.
Now, if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you'll be aware that I am a Google certified trainer, and I think I've probably mentioned on the show in the past what a positive effect becoming a Google certified trainer has had on my practice and also my career. I've been working as an educational technology coach for a time now, and it's been a very, very positive experience.
The Four Levels of Google Certification
So in this episode, I'm going to take you through the four levels of Google certification. If this peaks your interest and you'd like to deep dive into it further, I really recommend you either read the interview I did with the Society for Education and Training, or you have a listen to it, because we did an audio version as well.
So today's episode is going to be just kind of touching on the surface of the qualification levels. You can find out more in the Society for Education and Training interview.
Level One of Certification
Let's get started then. The first level of certification you can achieve with Google is Google Certified Educator Level 1.
Now, this qualification is designed for educators and classroom teachers who wish to demonstrate proficiency in using Google for educational tools, or rather, G Suite for Education tools. The Level 1 status indicates that an educator is able to successfully implement G Suite for Education into their teaching practice in order to enhance teaching and learning.
To achieve your Level 1 Google Certified Educator status you need to successfully complete an exam; it's an online exam. You have a maximum of 180 minutes, and you're not allowed to have any breaks during that time, it's a continuous time slot. There's a fee of $10, and your qualification is valid for three years.
You are required to re-certify after three years. In order to get yourself ready for this exam, Google has some fantastic online resources, so I recommend you go through the online resources and you take the exam after that.
If you are already a competent G Suite for Education user, it might be that you feel you can go straight into the exam. I think there are some mock exam options available, so if it was me, and I was feeling confident, I'd probably do a mock first.
With all of the G-suite qualifications, there are online training courses you can go through, and the training resources are free, it's just the exams you need to pay for. I actually paid for my Google exams out of my own pocket, and then I got them reimbursed by my college just via petty cash.
Level Two of Certification
Once you've got your Google Certified Educator Level 1 qualification, you can then move up to Level 2. The Level 2 status indicates that an educator is able to successfully integrate a wider range of G Suite for Education tools and other technologies in order to transform their teaching practice. Whereas the Level 1 qualification focuses on the basic G Suite for Education tools, Level 2 expands the range somewhat.
Very similar to Level 1, you have a 180-minute exam with no pauses. The fee is slightly higher, it's $25, and again, like Level 1 it's valid for three years and you will need to re-certify after that time.
Level Three: Google Certified Trainer
The next level is a Google Certified Trainer, and this is the level that I hold. There's a big leap from Google Certified Educator Level 2 to Google Certified Trainer, and when I take you through the various things you have to do in order to achieve this status, you'll start to get a sense of this.
Google Certified Trainers are passionate and driven educational professionals with a desire to help others transform classrooms with technology, and that's a really important point. Whereas Google Certified Educator Level 1 and Level 2 people are focused on their own classrooms and their own practice, becoming a Certified Trainer is expanding that to include other people. So you might be your school's go-to technologist, stellar classroom teacher, or an enterprising consultant, anyone is welcome to apply for membership in the program.
What Do You Need To Do?
So what do you need to do to become a Google Certified Trainer? Well, this is what I've done, and it worked, and I achieved this status.
So you have to do six things. First, you need to complete the Certified Trainer course, that's a free online course.
Then you have to do a skills assessment exam. Now, this is separate from any other exam; it's $15. You have to make sure you have achieved Google Certified Educator Level 1; you also have to achieve Google Certified Educator Level 2.
You then need to produce a trainer video. This is a short video split into two parts. You have to do a little tutorial to show your Google skills, and you also have to do a piece to camera where you explain what makes you Google-y. That is not as easy as it sounds, take my word for it.
After that there is a detailed application to complete, and this includes case studies and essentially evidence that you are really using your Google skills in a transformative way.
Once you've achieved your Google Certified Trainer status you are required to re-certify every year. So whereas the Educator Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications are every three years, Google Certified Trainers have to re-certify every year, and you need to do an exam to re-certify.
You also are required to log 12 training sessions related to G Suite for Education products, you log that on a specific platform they provide you with access to, and you have to supply some Google resources to a database which is shared with other Google Certified Trainers.
It Is Worth It!
Woo, it's quite hefty, isn't it? But it really is worth it if you fit into that bracket of your school's go-to technologist, or somebody who is in a professional development role working with other teachers and trainers to help them up their game in the technology for learning department.
The Final Stage
As I said, I'm a Google Certified Trainer. The final stage is to become a Google Certified Innovator, and that's what I'm headed towards next.
It's very different to the three levels that I've just talked you through. It's designed for education thought leaders who create new and innovative projects using Google for education tools or rather G Suite for Education tools. There is an exam, and you need to go through the Innovation Academy. The application process is at set times during the year, and you have to work on a project.
So it's very much a research and development type approach to G Suite for Education. You're coming up with something new and exciting.
So that's Google Certified Innovator, I will keep you updated on my progress with that.
And that's it. What do you think? If you are using G Suite for Education in your college or school, please consider doing your Level 1 or Level 2 Google Certified Educator qualifications as a minimum. (You can find more information on how to become Google Certified here)
It really has been transformative for me and for many of my colleagues.
Right, that's it from me today, I hope you enjoyed the episode, and I hope you will tune in next time. Thanks for listening.