In my last post I discussed the week-long workshop I participated in through ITSCO that covered the six modules and tests that serve as the first step to becoming a Google Certified Trainer. After failing one test (ironically, the AppsMail test – I KNOW. My embarrassment called and wants it’s own zip code!) I’ve used Gmail for several years and never realized there were so many settings, options, offline modes, and ghost protocols, let alone the intricacies of IMAP vs. POP features, LABs add-ons, and Domain administrator settings) I was able to retake the test on the final day of training for an additional $15 fee. By the grace of (A. God B. Luck C.Karma D. The Spirit of Larry Smith) I passed, and it felt like I’d won the TechGeek Superbowl!
Passing the six ninety minute tests (yes, you will use all 90 minutes for each test), however, is but the first requirement in a series to become an actual Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer. Once an applicant receives “Qualified Individual” status by passing the tests, Google outlines the next steps, which applicants have up to 12 months to complete. From Google’s training site:
“Certified Trainer” individual applicants must:
- Have previously achieved ‘Qualified Individual’ status.
- Complete a case study demonstrating your experience in technology instruction and/or professional development. Additional strong references from school or business clients are required.
- Submit a 2 minute video introduction about your background, role in education technology, and innovative approach to using Google Apps
- Create sample learning materials and produce a short video which demonstrates your familiarity with Google Apps features.
- Demonstrate extensive experience using and training Google Apps to educational organizations prior to application.
- Commit to conducting at least 3 professional development activities related to Google Apps every quarter
- View the complete application here.
I’m not worried about the videos. I have used Jing, ScreenCastOMatic, and a trial version of Camtasia to create How-To screencasts for my staff and students. What worries me about this venture is that we are NOT currently a GAFE district. Nor have we adopted any district-wide LMS. Our students currently do not have a way to transfer files from school to home. They do not have a way to co-author and create shared documents. Many outside blogs are blocked. All email is blocked. We allow students to register for their own Private Google accounts, but we our thin clients run an old version of IE, which does not support Google Apps. In short, our students currently have extremely limited options for engaging in real-world educational collaborative experiences. Not that Google is the Be All End All of platforms, but it does have distinct advantages:
1. The entire suite, complete with storage, backup, security, apps, tools , live support, real-time updates, collaboration and publishing capabilities is FREE. Did I mention FREE?!
2. Read much more about the advantages Here
My hope for future posts, is that I will be able to document the implementation of GAFE for Heath City Schools.