Sunday, May 28, 2017

Go Googley...with Google Certifications

Happy SundayY'all!

I've had a lot of people ask me about "Going Google," and I can truly say it has been a great learning experience.
Our district became a Google Apps district many years ago! While still in my classroom, my principal  forced ... encouraged us to use Google! I am so glad she did because my knowledge of Google helped me land the job I have now!

Way back in 2014, I became a Google Educator. In order to become a Google Educator, I had to pass a series of five tests - one for Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and I chose to take Chrome and Chromebooks. Each test cost $15 each and took about 90 minutes to take.

Then, they did away with Google Educator...

My colleague, Leslie, and I decided that we wanted to try to become a Google Trainer so through an intensive application process, she and I were chosen to be Google Trainers! That has been an amazing experience because we get to share the greatness of Google with others!

Since becoming a Google Trainer, I have thought of trying to become a Google Innovator, but first, I had to become a Level 1 and Level 2 Educator. These two new titles became the replacement for Google Educator that I had completed back in 2014. I was all gung-ho to take my Level 2 test in April of 2016, and... I failed.   

So I had no hope of applying for that round of Google Innovator. I think I got a bit overconfident, and felt like I didn't need to go over the training. Words of wisdom: Do the training -- no matter how much you think you know about Google!

So a whole year goes by, and I procrastinate taking the Level 2 test again until finally I decided that it is not going to take itself. I begin by taking doing ALL the training for Level 1 educator, and then taking that test. Google gives you three hours to take this test. I finished in two hours. They validate the test as soon as you finish so for those few minutes that they are validating is torture!!

The next day, I began doing the training for the Level 2 test. Again, after I did ALL the training, I took the Level 2 test, annnnnddddd...I passed!  

Google gives you three hours to complete this test too, and finished in two hours 45 minutes. Again, it was torture as they validated my work, but WHOO-HOO, I passed! I did both tests within the span of about two weeks, and I only had about two weeks left in the window to submit my Google Innovator application.

I had already been toying with my video and vision deck already, but I wanted everything to be perfect! With that being said, I submitted my application a couple of days again. I had a pit in my stomach as I hit the submit button. Now, I am anxiously waiting for next week, June 6th, to be exact, when they will announce the latest cohort for Google Innovator in Washington, D.C. #WDC17

Till next time...

Monday, May 22, 2017

An Update on the Bomb-Diggity! Finally!

Okay, so it's been an H-O-T hot minute since I last blogged and a lot has happened since then! I'm going to try to bring you up to date!

I left the classroom after 25 years, and I am finishing up my third year as an instructional technology coach. That first year as an ITC was, to say the least, interesting. My colleague, Leslie Fagin, and I were hired at the same time, and neither of us had any experience. We worked really hard on trying to learn as much as we could in our new jobs! Part of that was developing our Personal Learning Network. I had this blog where I would share what I was doing in my classroom, but I began to really reach out and connect with others via Twitter. This was eye-opening to me because before, I had used Twitter mainly as a place to follow my favorite celebrities, but low and behold --- I could actually learn from Twitter!!  

Another component to my new job is to present at conferences. Leslie and I have done just that, from presenting at our local RESA conferences to state technology conferences, to the largest edtech conference in the world - ISTE. I have presented at ISTE 2015, ISTE 2016, GaETC 2014, GaETC 2015, GaETC 2016, RESA Drive-in Technology Conference 2014, RESA Drive-in Technology Conference 2015, and ASCD 2015. 

I have also completed Google Certifications of Level 1 Educator, Level 2 Educator, and I am currently a Google Certified Trainer, as well as a Plickers Ambassador and a Seesaw Ambassador. 

If I look at where I am now, I have been able to accomplish so much in a short amount of time. I am most proud of being about to work with teachers on how to effectively integrate technology into their lessons using the SAMR framework. The WHAT, you say? More about that in an upcoming post!

I am excited about being a part of the ISTE #ETCoaches Blogging Buddies Project. I joined this project because it is going to force me back into blogging. I have missed it so much, but wasn't really sure of how to move forward with it since I was no longer in the classroom. I hope you will stick with me as a work with Pam Shoemaker, Alex Carter, Waneta Hebert, and Emmanuel Andre.  This is a great group of educators, and I look forward to learning from them, as well as them keeping me accountable!

Till next time...

Blogging tips