In my opinion, no one has done more than Google to help integrate educational technology into the school landscape.
My current school uses the Office 365 Educational Suite which has a similar range of tools . However, Google has gone to immense effort to make its tools as accessible as possible.
Part of this effort has been to create Google Educator and Innovator Certifications.
I am so glad to have done this certification and I really don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. The training is free and the exam costs just 10 dollars to register for.
I cannot reveal any details about the exam as I signed a non disclosure agreement. However, I can promise that if you do the training (or indeed, just complete the end of unit questions for each topic), you will be more than prepared. Here is a link to start your training if you are interested: https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/fundamentals/preview
I did not find the exam particularly challenging but I have played around with most of the tools over the past few years. The training covers Google Sheets, Google Forms, Google Sites, Google Drive, Gmail, Youtube and Groups. It goes into exhaustive detail so even if you have never really used google apps for education before, you will emerge from the training with a pretty good grasp of the content: Especially if you ‘play’ with the tools as you go along. As mentioned, it wasn’t difficult, just exhausting. You have a maximum of 3 hours to complete- I got it done in about 2:40.
What I found useful
Doing this certification really helped me to explore tools that I have touched on in the past but had not fully explored. I also had not fully realised how well they could complement some of my teaching ideas. Notably, Google Sites and Google Forms. It’s nice to have solid proof of my proficiency with online educational tools and I was also reminded of ways that I could streamline my Gmail more effectively.
Finally, it highlighted many of the shortcomings of the Office 365 Education Suite- something I will do a separate blog post on soon.