With the quick transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, many music educators found themselves needing a “crash course” in technology. Being savvy, forward-thinking educators, they made it happen one Google search, Seesaw post, and virtual classroom at a time. Now that we’ve most returned to the classrooms and have had some time to breathe, it’s worth it for all music teachers to consider becoming Google Certified. This signifies that an educator has demonstrated proficiency using various Google Workspace for Education tools.
The Google For Education Teacher Center contains technology training resources for various Google Workspace tools, include Classroom, Docs, Slides, Forms, and Jamboard. Besides the resources, the Google Teacher Center also has certification courses for educators to demonstrate their Google Workspace for Education skills. After completing the training courses, you can register to take one of two certification exams; Google Certified Educator Level 1 or Level 2.
Why is this valuable to music teachers?
I originally took the Google Fundamentals (Level 1) course in 2016. This was long before a global pandemic and distance learning were on our horizons. I took the certification course to learn more about Google for Education. I could perform a Google search, knew how to access my Gmail, and had even successfully navigated Google Docs. But I had a feeling there was a lot more to Google for Education. And I was right! Even as a music teacher, I found value in this information. Learning about the various Google tools, I gained organizational skills and became more confident navigating technology personally, which then transferred into using it professionally and with my students.
Fast forward three years: now I am a Google Certified Educator Levels 1 and 2, a Google for Education Certified Trainer, and a Google for Education Certified Innovator! My PLN has expanded exponentially, and I have gained many new friends for life. In 2019, I traveled to London to participate in the Google Innovator Academy, which has been the single best professional experience of my career. I am not afraid to try new things, and most times I will seek experiences that previously would have been out of my comfort zone. And it all started with that one Google Certification in 2016.
What will you learn?
The Fundamentals Training, which prepares you to take the Level 1 certification exam, is broken into three categories:
- Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
- Increase Efficiency and Save Time
- Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Within those categories are 13 units covering the basics for the G Suite for Education tools. The website shows 13 hours of material, however if you already have some experience with G Suite, it will not take that long. The training is self-paced and self-selecting. You can complete as much or as little as you need.
Some tools and topics covered include:
- The benefits of a digital classroom
- Google Classroom
- Google Drive
- Google Docs
- Google Forms
- Google Slides
- Google Search
- Digital Citizenship
- Beyond the Textbook
- Google Groups
- Google Drawings
- Google Hangouts
- Google Calendar
- Google Keep
- Google Chrome
- Google Earth
After completing the Fundamentals Training, you can register for the Level 1 Certification Exam. The exam costs $10 and takes about 3 hours. Once you have finished and passed the exam, you will receive a Google Certified Educator Level 1 digital certificate and badge! This helps prove your proficiency and gives you recognition for developing these skills.
Ready to learn more?
If you are ready to learn more, first head to the Google for Education Teacher Center and check out the Basics of G Suite for Education training course. Another great resource is the Global Google Educator Group, who has put together Google Certified Educator Level 1 Bootcamp. You can watch the bootcamp videos and access other training materials right from their website. You can even register to take part in the Level 2 Bootcamp (for free!) in July. Finally, as a Google Certified Trainer, I’m always available. Whether answering questions by email, working together over Google Meet, or hosting an entire district-wide, I’m happy to help!
Looking for more Google resources?