Sink or swim, teachers and educators across the globe have clung to tools like Google Classroom and Google Meet to survive school closures and remote learning.
Building capacity and increasing your Google skills is more important than ever.
Google Certification changed my thinking, my career, and gave me the skills to teach and learn online.
Teachers need the skills and confidence to survive the new normal.
Let’s dive into 10 Ways Google Certification Can Support Remote Learning.
I’d like to give Todd Hausmann a shoutout for sharing his kindness choice board for Kindness Week. Check it out here.
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This episode is sponsored by Fluency Tutor.
Introducing Fluency Tutor; an App for Google Chrome that helps students improve reading fluency while saving busy teachers valuable time. Fluency Tutor fosters independent reading practice, while helping educators provide personalized instruction and tracking of student progress throughout the school year. And because it’s web-based, it’s great for remote learning!
Texthelp, the makers of Fluency Tutor ,are offering it for free through the end of the school year.
Quick Tip of the Week
This week’s tip is for one of my favorite Google tools, Google Slides! Use Control + D (Command + D on a Mac) to duplicate a slide. You must have the slide selected in the left-hand slide sorter first! You can also use this keyboard shortcut to duplicate objects on the slide, like a text box, shape, or image. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I use this ALL THE TIME!
All quick tips can be found on this page.
10 Ways Google Certification Can Support Remote Learning
Remote learning has forced educators across the globe to learn on the fly and use digital tools in new ways, often tools they’ve never even used before. We have a golden opportunity before us. Educational technology has never been more important, and digital learning skills for teachers and students have moved from nice to have to must-have skills in order to survive remote learning, or whatever hybrid stands before us in the remnants of COVID-19.
I became a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator in 2014, and it changed everything for me as an educator. (Hear my story in episode 39.) I don’t work for Google. They don’t pay me any money to share Google tips and strategies. I found easy-to-use tools that are free, readily accessible from any device, and the potential to change classrooms.
Fast forward to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers, administrators, parents, and everyone in between suddenly found themselves leaning on G Suite tools and other digital resources like never before. This is survival mode. We were not prepared, nor did we receive much training in preparation for school closures.
But amid the chaos and fears, something amazing happened. Teachers stepped up in the biggest way that I have ever seen. Even teachers who resisted technology often hated it and were resentful about any technology or training available saw the light. There was no alternative, virtual learning, and digital communication skills became a priority.
I am in awe of my fellow teachers. You were given a brand new job, something no one has done before, and you did everything you could to help your students. I guarantee you that other professions wouldn’t have adapted so quickly. This is why I love educators. There’s a depth and heart to this profession that often undervalued.
Many teachers and schools were already using G Suite, especially Google Classroom. But teachers were desperate for help, training, tips, pretty much anything they could get their hands-on. I rushed to create FREE Google Cheat Sheets for Teachers and Students. I’ve never finished cheat sheets that fast, nor have I ever created 54 pages and called it a cheat sheet! I knew this resource would help get us through the school year, but it’s not enough. Teachers need more than survival skills, not just because of the unknown reality of COVID-19 and remote learning, but because technology isn’t going anywhere!
I’ve been preaching this for years. I knew when I got my masters in edtech in 2007; I couldn’t go wrong. This is my passion, and the door is open for me to reach even the most resistant audience.
The Google Certification program is more than just a badge or certificate. It’s a journey, a process.
What is the Google Certification Program?
Google offers three certifications specifically for educators, Google Certified Educator Level 1, Google Certified Educator Level 2, Google Certified Trainer, and Google Certified Innovator. The Certified Educator program is designed to help teachers learn how to use Google tools through blended learning models. Google Certified Trainers and Innovators are leadership programs for those ready to lead professional development and change in their schools.
When I first started discussing the Google Certification program with school leaders, we talked about the skills and not worrying about the stress of passing the exam. Teachers don’t need any more stress right now. But then I discovered that many teachers WANT to take the exam and prove their skills right now, which is FANTASTIC. Either way, the program will help teachers prepare for digital learning with G Suite tools, whether it is blended learning in a physical classroom, or some version of virtual and remote learning.
Below are the original 10 Reasons to Become a Google Certified Educator, but I am adding a remote learning twist to help schools better understand how the program can help right now. 10 Ways Google Certification Can Support Remote Learning
1. Gain Confidence with Digital Learning Strategies and Google Tools
You don’t know what you don’t know! And there is always something new to learn about Google tools! Even if you are an experienced G Suite user, you will learn something new, including new ways to use G Suite in the classroom. The more you know and use these tools, the more confident you will be in your own classroom and teaching others.
No one has ever come out of the Level 1 training and said, “I knew all that,” and if they did, they’d at least be fibbing a little. We can’t know it all and retain it all at once.
The more teachers know and understand G Suite, cloud computing, and using Google tools FOR learning, the more confidence they will have to do more. Confidence cannot be undersold! This makes all the difference in the world when it comes to technology integration and remote learning. Even teachers that I know have had the skills for years, don’t have confidence, and proving their skills through the certification program changed everything.
2. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
The Google Certified Educator program isn’t just about the technology; it is learning how to use these tools to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for your students. Through this program, you will learn how to use G Suite tools to support and deepen learning in your classroom, as well as ideas for inspiring creativity in your students.
Now that we are wrapping up the school year, muddling our way through this remote learning thing, and whatever requirements were given to us by our country, state, and school districts, we can reflect on the process. What worked? What didn’t? How can we improve? How can we create more meaningful learning experiences now that we know what to expect?
The Google Certified Educator program is focused on learning, not on the technology. How to use G Suite tools to assess, give feedback, and facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. One thing is certainly clear. Those that have clung to old-school static lessons, and then tried to replicate in a digital environment DID NOT engage their students. It’s not about taking our old ways and putting them online in Google Classroom; it’s about rethinking our assignments.
3. Create a Paperless Classroom
Going paperless is easier said than done. G Suite tools can help you learn how to create a paperless classroom and improve your digital workflow and grading. And now, we’ve had to get extra creative with our paperless approach. Don’t forget that many students haven’t had access to computers or the Internet during this time, so paper packets still went home. However, I believe the gaps in digital equity are in the spotlight, and while it’s not ideal in every community, we are making great strides.
4. Collect Data and Increase Feedback Loops
Assessment data is a critical part of any classroom! Using Google Forms and Google Sheets, you will learn how to collect all kinds of data from your students and improve feedback.
During remote learning, traditional grading went out of the window in many places, and suddenly feedback was at the forefront of, as it should have been all along. Teachers can learn how to use G Suite tools to improve feedback and collect data beyond a traditional test.
5. Learn How to Find Answers and Support
What do you do when you get stuck? Do you know who to ask for support? Do you know where to search? When you have questions, it’s important to understand how to search the support center, help forums, and find assistance when you need it.
Yikes! Who needs this now more than ever. By the way, bookmark this now, support.google.com, your new best friend! But through the certification process, teachers also learn about many other places to connect and find support.
6. Increase Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy Skills in the Classroom
Finding time to teach digital citizenship skills can sometimes feel impossible. G Suite offers many ways to support these skills and help you find practical moments to build this skill set with your students.
Can I get an amen? I mean, seriously, y’all! Have we ever seen a more perfect example of the need for digital literacy and citizenship skills? Learning how to behave online, in video chats, in online discussions, and what to do if something goes wrong–there’s never been a more opportune moment!
7. Increase Efficiency and Save Time
The number one complaint of most teachers is lack of time. What if technology could actually save you time? When you learn how to use digital tools to be a more efficient teacher, everyone wins!
I always say that time-saving tips are the best buy-in for teachers who struggle with technology. G Suite tools should make working and teaching easier, not more complicated, but good professional development makes the difference. If teachers are not given the opportunity to learn in a meaningful way, differentiated for their skill level, they will always struggle.
8. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Are you a lifelong learner? You should be! That’s part of a growth mindset and will help you learn and grow with your students.
Yes! Teachers have always had to be flexible, but they were just stretched to the limits. There has never been more opportunity to stretch the mindset and build capacity and leadership.
9. Prove Your Skills
Teachers have to learn so much, isn’t it nice when you are recognized for your accomplishments? When you become a Google Certified Educator, you get a certificate and badge that proves you know your stuff!
Don’t underestimate the power of recognition. We all need validation.
10. Get the Badge and Join the Google Certified Family
Share your badge in your email signature, your blog, or your website, and wear it proud. Google Certified Educators are part of an elite group, a family of teachers that share and grow together.
How to Get Google Certified
You can become a Google Certified Educator on your own, through training offered online or at your school, or attend a face-to-face boot camp.
If you are new to Google Certification, I highly recommend you watch this free webinar to learn exactly what it’s all about, what it takes, and how to get there. (Please don’t go into this blindly!) Oh, and I’ll give you a TON of free resources!
Shake Up Learning offers three online, self-paced courses to help you reach your goals:
- The Google Certified Educator Level 1 Academy
- The Google Certified Educator Level 2 Academy
- The Google Certified Trainer Academy
Teachers don’t pay out of pocket! Make the case with your administrator, or apply for a scholarship. (Details available on each of the course pages listed above.)
Training for Schools
We also offer group, campus, and district licenses to help get all your teachers on board!
Learn more: GSuiteTrainingforSchools.com
Podcast Question of the Week
- How are you learning new skills during remote learning?
- Post your answers in the Shake Up Learning community or on your favorite social platform.
- Join our FREE Shake Up Learning Facebook group.
Do you have a question or idea to share on the podcast? Leave me a message here.
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