Today I took the Google Certified Educator (Level 1) test for a few reasons:
- To check my own competence in Google Apps for Education basics.
- To see how long it would take, with an eye on how we might support colleagues in taking the test themselves (e.g. PD time, cover or an event).
- To see how it might support our colleagues in getting up to speed at school in connection with our use of EdTech and integration in classes.
I can’t write too much as participants need to sign an NDA before beginning, but here are some basics.
To register, sign up here and pay USD $10. It might take a day or two to get your web-assessor account, then you have seven days to complete the test (in a single sitting).
Participants are allowed three hours for the test, during the entirety of which your webcam is on. It starts with some multi-choice questions and then leads into a series of scenarios were you have to work in Google Apps to complete a range of tasks (they create a model environment for you for the test, it does not use your own account). From mail, calendars and docs, to classroom, forms, sites and more, it is a pretty thorough assessment for getting going.
It took me almost 1 1/2 hours to complete, but I already know my way around Google Apps. There is a lot of reading and flicking between tabs – and EAL participants or new users might need the full amount of time. Fortunately there is a progress bar and each of the eleven tasks are similar in their time demand. I have not taken Level 2 yet, as I predict it will take longer, but plan to do so soon.
Applications as a tech leader/ co-planner
A small team of us have been working on connecting ISTE standards to IB ATL skills and from that starting to outline a ‘tech drivers’ license’ for teachers and students. I think this test would be a useful validation for teachers getting started in GAFE at our school, and maybe something they work towards over the year. We would need to structure PD time or support with this.
I can see the value in even advanced users taking this test, as it will give some empathy or insight into starting over again and will help support colleagues. A reminder of the basics for efficient and effective use of Google Apps should help us help our colleagues do the best things, with less stress. I did learn some efficiencies.
There are quite a few companies out there offering (pretty pricey) training towards this test. If you have enough techy types in your own school, it’s be hard to justify that investment. The test is only $10 per person. I imagine that once you get beyond the basic competence, some more ‘transformative’ PD would be a better return on investment for teachers.
Eric Curts (@ericcurts) has a couple of useful skills audits online:
Update: Sept 2017
We have these tools available in our school, and I want to make the best use of them, but am wary of advertising/branding teachers or schools as X-product. There is a very thought-provoking piece in the New York Times here.