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The Google Apps for Education Certification is an official “stamp of approval” from Google, and gives you access to additional marketing support, training opportunities and business visibility in the Google Apps marketplace. Meanwhile, your customers can be assured that your expertise and learning materials meet high quality standards set by the Google Apps team.

Google Apps Certified Trainer program is mainly designed for organizations and individuals who provide professional training and support to schools using Google Apps for Education. Many educators try to acquire this certification as it helps them develop professionally. Let me share with you the experiences of some Google Certified Trainers.

How to become a Google Certified Trainer:

Melinda Larson-Horne , a teacher and an edtech blogger, shared her experience in a blog post about the journey to become a Google Apps for Education Certified trainer. To become a Google Certified trainer, one needs to pass six exams of Google Apps with a high score and undergo a certain selection criteria. When asked about her interest in the certification program, her answer was as follows:

 “For the past two years, I have received valuable instruction and guidance from two Google Certified Trainers. My school district and neighboring districts have hired these talented and knowledgeable individuals to provide professional development to tech-savvy teachers via "train the trainer" workshops. We in turn have used our training to provide several courses in Google Apps for Education to our colleagues during a summer teaching and learning academy. As Instructional Technology coach, I would like to provide group and individualized training as our district moves towards full integration of Google Apps for Education. As a member of the Southeastern Wisconsin Tech Coaches Network, I would also like to extend the scope of my instructional coaching to workshops, edCamps, and conferences in order to train an even larger population of educators and administrators.”

And there are many questions to which one needs to provide perfect answers. The questions include technology interest, areas and expertise in edtech, social blogging activities, etc., in addition to these, one should make a self produced video (2 min duration) of one’s introduction. You may watch Melinda’s self introduction video (which deals with her background, philosophy and innovative use of Google Apps for Education) for a better understanding.

Becoming "Google Certified" at the Google Teacher Academy:

The Google Teacher Academy is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. During this two-day program, participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making an impact.  In the year 2011, Google received over 4,000 applications from around the world and only 50 were accepted. Here, I’d like to share with you the experience of Joanna Sanders who was chosen to participate in this grand event and became a Google Certified Teacher.

“We spent our day learning from accomplished Google Certified Teacher leaders who led us through sessions on Google Docs, GMail, Google Sites, and other Google Apps. Although these are all tools that I use on a regular basis, I learned a lot about how to use these tools more effectively myself and with students. I also greatly benefited from hearing stories and ideas from the other educators in my cohort about how they were using these tools in their classrooms.”, said  Joanna Sanders, Google Certified Educator and YouTube Star Teacher.

Educators’ experience before and after becoming a Google Certified Trainer:

Maggie Vonck , a Technology Integrator in the Green Bay Area Public School District, WI., is dedicated to help teachers create classroom practices that become rich and streamlined because of technology integration.  She is also a Google Certified Trainer & a Google fanatic who can find a Google tool for just about any learning need. She said that Google Certification helped her become a better trainer and influenced the teachers in her school district with her ideas and strategies of educational technologies.

“Being a Google Certified Teacher means incredible professional development, fabulous Google Certified Teacher support, lifelong friendships & that's just the beginning!”, said Alice Chen , Google Certified Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator.

“There are training opportunities (Google Reboots), early/news releases, and forums only for Certified Trainers.”, said Stacci Barganz , an innovation specialist, Google Certified Teacher at Janesville School District.

The above mentioned are the views and experiences of educators who consider Google Certification very helpful. We’d like to have your views on this topic. Share with us how Google Certification helped you with your professional development. The comment box awaits you.

About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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