Saturday, March 9, 2013

Officially a Google Qualified Individual!

After some inspiration from EdCamp Madison, I decided to work towards becoming a Google Certified Trainer.  As a teacher who has been using Google Apps for Education for a couple years now, I thought this would be a worthy goal to shoot for.  It can never hurt to legitimize what I do in the classroom, as well as the ways I help out other teachers.

So if you are a teacher trainer, I highly suggest doing this.  At the very least, through the process I went through, I learned A LOT about Google Apps that I never knew before.  Want a blog like feature on a Google Site?  Go for it.  Forgot to attach a document to an email in Gmail?  It will warn you before sending it if you mentioned you were sending an attachment.  These are just a couple of many things I learned.

So how do you get to become a Google Qualified Individual?  You need to take 6 exams, each totally 60 questions, that you must take in 90 minutes each.  The topics are Google Apps For Education - Admin tools, Docs, Sites, Mail, Calendar, and Other Tools.  You need to answer 80% of the questions correctly.  That is it.  Upon completion, you will receive a certificate that certifies you as a Qualified Individual, and it lasts for 12 months.  If you wish to pursue becoming a Certified Trainer, you would do that during this time.

Some of my tips for being successful -
  1. Study - Google provides awesome study materials for this test, broken up into each section that will be required.  When you head out to the test prep area, found here, you will go through each section found on the left.  Even if you don't plan on pursuing this certification, the information found here is invaluable!
  2. Plan and make a goal - I set a goal for myself to complete these tests this past weekend.  I knew that unless I planned to do them, I would just push it off.  That was something I didn't feel I could afford to do.  Clear out some time and go for it!
  3. Have two computers - When taking the actual exam, I had two computers available.  One was solely responsible for running the test, while the other was for double checking my answers.  Using the CTRL+F shortcut for find was hugely helpful during this part.  However, there is no way I could have navigated the guides as quickly if I hadn't read through the materials before hand.
  4. Relax and go do it! - What are you waiting for?  Google Apps for Education is free of charge to all school districts and provides a powerful suite of collaboration and communication tools for students and faculty alike.  Even if you don't have it, the certification itself (and eventual Certified Trainer title, after completing an application) will be a good professional marketing badge for you to demonstrate your ability to utilize educational technology in the classroom to bolster student learning!
Have you taken the test already?  What were some things that helped you pass it?  Feel free to post a comment or send me a tweet @mrgfactoftheday.

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