Thursday, July 6, 2017

Google Certified Educator

Every summer I challenge myself in some way. Last year I focused on creating and implementing Brag Tags in  my classroom. This summer I wanted to read Mindsets in the Classroom (wanted to do more with growth mindset next school year), the Writing Strategies Book (I love the Reading Strategies Book and knew this would be a great addition to my teaching as well) and to become a Level 1 Google Certified Educator. Well I can officially mark that last item off of my list! 

Was it hard... yes, was it worth it... yes! I was already familiar with Microsoft Office so those skills transfer over to the comparable Google Application. For example, Microsoft PowerPoint= Google Slides and Microsoft Excel= Google Sheets. I also use Gmail (including the chat and task features), Google Drive and Goggle Docs almost daily.  I use Google Calendar and I even created a Google Site for my class website that houses all of our study guides for every subject as well as all the important information about our class. I felt pretty confident going into to the modules but let me just tell you... there are 13 of them and they are intense! It look me about a week to work through all of them. I registered to take the exam as soon as I finished (it costs $10) and actually took it later on that night. You have 3 hours to take it and it took me 2 and 1/2 hours to complete it. As soon as you submit it validates your exam, I found out right then that I had passed and then overnight I was emailed my certificate and badge (see below). So what now... how do I intend to implement the knowledge I gained from this experience?

I'm going to start small because I can quickly get overwhelmed. I will say that devices are limited. I only have 2 laptops in my classroom and we do have a set of Chromebooks that we share among 10 teachers (yes, 3rd grade at my school has 10 teachers). Plus they got rid of our two computer labs when they hired the 9th section of Kindergarten and First Grade last year. 
  • Google Forms are about to be my best friend! Its a way to collect data. Here's how I plan to use them...
    • Open House- parents are going to sign in on computers with their child's name, their names and email addresses. They'll also have to answer a question of whether or not they are interested in being our Room Parent. Google forms will create a spreadsheet with all that data, that way I don't have to try and read handwriting and keep up with three extra sheets that I can easily misplace.
    • Pretests- this year I'm pretesting each math unit. I can snip pictures of math problems and put them into a google form as a multiple choice quiz. I can even have it score the quiz for me and again create a spreadsheet with all the data. 
    • Back to School Forms- I usually sit down with a spreadsheet and check off which student returned which form and then I'm bound to misplace that paper. I intend to make a form where type in the child's name and then click each form they returned, press submit and viola... spreadsheet created and it'll be stored in my Google Drive so I won't lose it!
  • Google Classroom- Here is where I will post some (not all) assignments there. Some of those assignments will be to watch a YouTube video clip (you can embed videos) and respond to it. I want to have options available for my students who will finish their learning contracts early, most of the time I just have them read when they finish an assignment, I need to do better in that area.
I'm sure I'll find other ways throughout the school year to implement Google Apps for Education and one day I'll venture into the creative side and start creating and sharing interactive lessons students can complete on the computer.

So... how do you use Google Applications in your classroom?

5 comments:

  1. I love this post! I am preparing to use Google Classroom with my 2nd graders this year and I'm super excited. I created a google form for my parents to complete with all that important stuff I need to know about. If you would like to see it let me know. It's not perfect but I love it. I hope you continue to post about your Google journey so I can learn from.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing about your Google education journey. I recently started my own journey. I know that will lots of questions for you. My first question, did you take notes with each lesson? Do the end of unit quizzes do anything to accomplish the end goal? I finished the first lesson and passed the quiz. Thanks for your insight and inspiration!

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    1. Yes, the quizzes accurately prepare you for the exam. I didn't take notes for each section. I did however had a 2nd device, another computer open while I was taking my google exam to search for something if I needed to. I used it maybe three times during my exam. I got that tip from a search I did on Pinterest.

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    2. How long did it take you to finish the lessons and prepare for the exam? Thanks so much for your help!

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    3. It took me about a week and a half to complete all the lessons and take the test.

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