I’ve had a lot of professional goals I’ve been working on this summer, one of them being to earn my Google Certified Educator, Level 1 Certification. In case you’re wondering what that even is, let me fill you in a little.
Google offers two levels of certification for educators. Both of these are meant to demonstrate your mastery of the implementation of Google tools in the classroom. Level 1 is for educators who are proficient in the fundamentals of the use of Google tools. Level 2 is for those who demonstrate advanced skills in implementation of Google tools.
Google offers online training for both levels of certification. The training does take some time to complete (about 12 hours for Level 1), but I recommend it, even for those who already feel comfortable with Google tools. I already use Google personally, so I felt fairly comfortable going into the training. I still learned a lot of new things, though! It also helped me to start thinking about taking these tools that I already use and applying them in the classroom. If you are someone who not only knows how to use Google tools but also how to implement them in the classroom, then why not get your certification?!? Be proud, and show the world what you are good at!
Some of you may be saying, “I teach a lower grade level. Does this really apply to me?” I honestly felt the same way. I teach first grade, and up until now, we have always used iPads in our classroom. The thought of teaching my young students to use a Chromebook seemed overwhelming. We had the opportunity to get Chromebooks this upcoming year, so I knew I needed to be prepared by working on my certification. I’m actually excited about how many ways my students will be able to use Google tools. While this year will definitely be a learning experience, I am going in with the mindset that my kiddos will be successful! Our kids today are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for when it comes to technology. I find they are often successful when we just take the time to teach expectations, model, model, model, and then give lots of practice! Before you know it, they will be able to teach others themselves!
If you think a Google certification is for you, here’s some of the details. The Level 1 exam costs $10, and the Level 2 exam costs $25. Once you register, it can take up to 24 hours for your exam to be ready. You then have a 7 day window to complete it. There are quite a few guidelines that you have to follow, but they are all a part of Google protecting their programs and exams. You have 3 hours to complete the exam. I would have finished in a little over 2 hours, but I had a little hiccup with my internet which cost me 20 minutes! I was in a panic for a while. Even with the lost 20 minutes, I still finished with time to spare. The exam is a combination of multiple choice questions and actual application in Google tools. Once you complete the exam, you will be notified of your results within a few minutes. If you do not pass the first time, you will have to wait 14 days before attempting again. If you don’t pass the second time, you must wait 60 days. If you don’t pass the third time, you have to wait a year. Since you have to pay for the exam each time, I recommend doing as much preparation beforehand as you can! Your certification is then good for 36 months.
I had such a great experience with this exam, that I’m really considering going ahead and working on Level 2 soon as well! For those who want to take it a step further, you can become a Certified Trainer and Certified Innovator.
So there you have it! Google certification looks great on your resume, helps you to improve (and prove) your skills, and increase student learning!