Monday, October 19, 2015

Google Certified Educator

I was fortunate enough to become a Google Certified Educator in the Spring 2015 through a cohort sponsored by my school division and Lord Fairfax Community College. In the cohort, we met, learned GAFE tips and tricks, and then took the exams. It was a great way to become certified, build my PLN, and learn even more about GAFE.

After the cohort ended, Google for Education introduced the new certifications - Google Certified Educator Level I and Google Certified Educator Level II. Being one who does not like to let the grass grow under my feet, I immediately began preparing for the new certification exams. These exams are completely different than the previous exams which were strictly multiple choice and no skills demonstration/application. With the new exams, Google actually wants to see if educators know how to integrate the tools in the classroom and how to use each of the applications. The new exams are three hours long and trust me, you will want to take the entire three hours!

To help prepare for the exams here are some great resources that you should check out:

Google Educator Certification

EdTech Team Google Certification Resources

Google for Education Certification

I am definitely open to sharing my experiences and testing strategies and tips. Good luck in your certification quest!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Letting Students Take the Lead

After reading Matt Miller's book, Ditch That Textbook, I became more inspired to really let me students take the lead on some of the activities that I had previously taken the lead on. Usually, I was the one who would lead the class in playing trashball by developing the questions for the students to answers. However, I realized that with the use of Google Sheets and the Chromebooks in my classroom, I could easily have my students create their own interactive Jeopardy board that we could play in class.

The students got into groups and selected a category. Once they had selected their category, they needed to develop the questions for that category. They could also include video questions using YouTube or images in their questions. The students absolutely loved taking the lead and taking responsibility for their own learning. This activity served as a great way for them to review for their exam. I also noticed that the students scored better on this exam than they had on previous exams. Whether the Jeopardy game had anything to do with it, I'm not sure, but I would like to think it did.

Here is the link for the Jeopardy template: Jeopardy Game

Let your students take the lead and see how they will become responsible for their own learning.