Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Free Professional Learning Tools for Google Apps

Google is fast becoming one of the tools of choice within education.  With summer break arriving, there are a number of great opportunities to start/continue your learning around Google Apps for Education and the incredible ways they can be used in your classroom.  Many teachers may be traveling for the summer or have personal projects that prevent them from attending the various conferences/face-to-face professional development opportunities.  With unprecedented access to technology, the learning can occur at your own pace, on your own time, and in any location.  Check out some of these great resources that allow the learning to continue wherever your summer plans may take you.  

Google for Education - Google has put together an extensive online training program that anyone can work through on their own.  The Google for Education Basics modules allow you to learn all about Google from the very foundational aspects.  Once you've completed the Basics modules you can move on to the Google Educator modules.  In the Google Educator modules, you'll learn how to take your basic knowledge to a higher level and be challenged with practicing content in advanced level courses.  After a series of 5 exams, you'll be certified as an official Google Educator!  (Note:  the exams are currently unavailable until June 28th but you can work through the content and complete the modules until that time.)  Last, an opportunity to become a Google Certified Teacher is present through a high level application process.  You'll first need to become a certified Google Educator before you can apply.  We highly recommend becoming a Google Educator and using the tools you learn in your classroom as they will greatly increase your chances during the application process.  Google Certified Teachers are invited to special events and Google Teacher academies as part of their acceptance.  Click on the Google for Education link above.  Good Luck!

Google Apps Ninja - Ninja skills allow anyone to be among the best in their realm.  Google Ninja skills are now available and their respective color belts will showcase your specific skill levels.   The Google Apps Ninja site is an entirely free resource for anyone looking to develop their Google skills.  Participants can choose from Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Sites, or Search trainings.  There are four complete levels along with a test for you to reach a Master Ninja certification in any of the Google Apps listed above.  The site is accessible at anytime with any device as long as you have wifi access.  We wish you the very best on your Google Ninja journey.

Google Plus -  If haven't joined Google+ using your district account, you're missing out on some great professional learning.  Google+ is fast becoming the social media platform for professionals to connect, share, and learn about a variety of tools and strategies being used in their respective fields.  Education is no different as you can find a wealth of resources and connections from across the globe, not to mention the APS EdTech VLC.  When you set up your Google+ profile, you'll be able to join a wide variety of communities that provide non-stop resources and ideas for integrating not only Google Apps, but great technology resources as well.  You can also share your practices so others can learn from your expertise!  Contact your EdTech Coach for additional support with setting up your Google+ profile and getting connected.  


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This is a professional blog associated with the Ed Tech Department of Aurora Public Schools. Comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, but please keep in mind that this can be used in classrooms and viewed by anyone.