I am participating in the Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge being put on by the wonderful Maria Verwey. For week 2 we have been asked what we are reading, what our professional goals are for this year and our one word for 2015.
Right now I’m reading ‘Making Thinking Visible’ which is my book club book.
This upcoming Wednesday we are reading and discussing Chapter 2. Last week we discussed Chapter 1 and I was blown away by the amazing discussion we had. You can still participate and sign up here.
I’m also reading ‘What Great Teachers do Differently’ by Todd Whitaker.
Right now I have a lot of professional goals. I became a Google Educator in the summer and I’m working on becoming a Google Trainer this year.
Since it is my first year being a contract and permanent teacher, I’ve been focused on learning about how a school really works. I joined the School Learning Plan Committee (SLP), the Lead Team, and am hoping to be on our Technology Team.
I’m also focused on continuing to provide great PD opportunities. I am hoping to do that through a Summer Conference I’m hoping to help plan, my #bowkerbook club that is happening right now and maybe in the summer months, applying to present at a ETFO Summer Academy workshop and another Edcamp Ottawa next fall. I am also hoping to continue with Ontario’s Edchat (@Onedchat) and make it more popular.
In my classroom I also want to focus more on learning rather than marks and continuing to try to collaborate and do cool projects even though it seems to not be working out this year.
My One Word:
My one word is Care. I wrote a post about it here.
This past summer I started my journey of becoming a Google Educator. I had a hard time with the exams, just because I struggle with exams in general. To see my advice on how to pass you Google Educator exams, click the link.
I met James Peterson at the 2013 Edcamp Ottawa. We got along great right away and I asked him to help me with my Google sites. I chatted online with him many times through Canadian Edchat (@cdnedchat) and when I attended GAFE Ottawa Summit I got the chance to meet his friend Chris Webb (@Crippit). These guys together are so fun, so geeky (I mean that in the best way), and so insanely smart.
A picture of us and the amazing Emily Fitzpatrick at the GAFE Ottawa Summit.
At the GAFE Ottawa Summit, I decided to follow them around all day trying to learn as much as I could from them. After the GAFE Ottawa Summit they decided to come to Edcamp Ottawa 2014 and again made such an impact on everyone’s learning around them. They even encouraged me to apply for a Google Trainer position.
The boys and I at Edcamp Ottawa.
After Edcamp, I went home encouraged to apply to become a Google Educator. As I started my application I realized that I never have done any real Google training. I have helped teachers problem solve or quickly show them neat tricks for google but never a real training session.
I decided that my goal for this year would be to do some trainings in my school and help teachers use GAFE better professionally and with their students. I created a Google Form and am currently collecting information about when and what they want to learn about. I’m excited for this next step and I’m hoping to apply to become a Google Trainer in the next application process.
I has kept on hearing about people being Google certified and I was interested. But what was it all about?
If you are interested in becoming a Google Educator, visit this website Google for Education. It has all of the information to begin your journey. In order to begin your training, go to training and then Get Certified.
In my experience I skipped the Learn the Basics section since I was using Google everyday but do what works best for you. If you feel comfortable, as I did, you can move onto Become a Google Educator. I had assumed, as I’m sure some of you assumed that if you use Google Apps everyday, you really don’t need to take the courses in Gmail, Docs & Drive, Calendar and Sites. We are WRONG! Read through the courses! I learned so much reading through them.
In order to become a Google Educator you need to take exams in Gmail, Docs & Drive, Calendar, Sites and you get the choice of one elective: Chrome Browser, Chromebooks, or Tablets with Google Play for Education. My elective that I took was Chrome Browser.
My experience taking these exams was a challenging one. To be fair, I have never been good at exams or really school for that matter. So to be self inflicting myself with 5 exams ‘for fun’ is CRAZY! I did find the exams very detailed and thorough. To be completely honest, I did fail the Gmail and Sites exams and when you fail an exam you have to wait 7 days to try it again.
Google Educator Test Details:
- 90 minutes
- 60 questions
- able to mark them to come back to them
- 15$ per test
- if you fail, there is a 7 day waiting period and you have to pay again
Essential advice for becoming a Google Educator.
- Read through the courses completely
- Make notes if you need to
- Keep the training open to quickly find something (Ctrl F)
- Open and search for answers in google (see below)
- When searching, use the tests language
- Have search window and test window open side by side
- if not sure of a question, mark it and come back to it
Help for exams:
Have these open when you take your exam!
One of my summer goals was to become a Google Educator and now my goal is complete!
So I’m trying to become a certified Google Educator.
What is that? Well, check out this website for more details. For me, I’m trying to complete 5 different self directed courses and exams: Gmail, Calendar, Sites, Docs & Drive, and an elective which I’m choosing Chrome Browser.
For full disclosure, I’m studying for the Gmail exam right now but I have already tried and failed it. Taking a multiple choice exam through Google took me back to when I was taking Psychology in University. I do not do well in multiple choice tests at all. If there is an ‘all of the above’ or ‘non of the above’ options, I will choose it. I don’t know why. But taking these exams prove to me that test do not show what you know. You cannot test my passion for technology or my ability to problem solve.
Sometimes it is good for us teachers to be put back into the role of the student. I forgot what kind of student I am. I cannot just read through some documents online and then take an exam. I have always wished I was that type of student but I’m not, nor will I ever be that way. I need to read the material, I need to take notes in order for the material to sink in.
So here I am, reading the material for probability for the 5th time, making detailed notes so that I can pass these exams.
Thank you Google for reminding me why I don’t test my students nor will I ever again.