Friday, May 16, 2014

Ideas Abounding! Reflections from a Bootcamper

Guest Blogger Susan Kiley EdTechTeam New England Summit Attendee and Google Certified Trainer Bootcamp Attendee Bishop Feehan High School, MA
In honor of the Google Certified Educator application closing today at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time, we asked folks in our community to share their experience with the application. The next application period opens June 2nd and is due August 15th, so start thinking now about preparing! A great start is to begin your Qualified Educator Exams.
You can also attend a Google Education Trainer Certification Bootcamp before most of our summits this summer! Good luck to Emily Roth, Sarah Kyriazas, Cori Frede, Chad Fisher, and so many more who shared with us on our community that they went for it this go-around! Thanks Sarah also for sharing your portfolio for ideas. Sign up to hold a Bootcamp here! -EdTechTeam

I attended the EdTech Team’s Google Bootcamp in Massachusetts this fall to become better acquainted with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and to learn practical application of all Google has to offer for schools. We are in the process of migrating our entire organization over to a Google EDU domain and as the trainer for my school, I wanted to be sure I was on the right track with the training I had already started with our staff.  
My instructor was Kern Kelley, a dynamic and innovative educator from Maine. The most valuable part of the bootcamp was Kern’s experience with GAFE and how he has transformed an entire school district with practical application of GAFE and all it has to offer. 
The Bootcamp was the highlight of my school year. I left feeling inspired by all of the possibilities Google presents for schools at all levels of the organization. After attending, I first passed all of my certification exams to become a Google Qualified Educator, the first step to becoming a trainer, and have applied to be a Google Education Trainer for this round. My advice to anyone taking the exams is to not assume that you know everything about Google! Even after the bootcamp, I also took the self-paced training prior to each exam to be sure. 
Application Requirements
Once in the exam session, I was very glad I did this. The most difficult exam, I found, was Drive. Receiving my Google Certified Educator certificate was a sweet moment! I then moved on to apply for my Trainer badge, for which I am anxiously awaiting word back. If you apply for the trainer program you first need to have at least 50 hours experience delivering Google problem for me since I’ve been doing this pretty much full time since March. 
For my 2-minute application video, I created a screencast demonstrating one aspect of Sites. (I actually chose Page types & embedding the Recent Posts gadget in my class website so that teachers in my school could learn how to do this.) 

For the application Case Study, it pretty much wrote itself as I am fortunate enough to be experiencing a Google migration in my everyday work. (I love seeing people’s faces the first time they see the desktop Drive client sync their files to the web!
As the primary Google trainer for my school, I have also invited teachers from other schools to attend my training sessions to spread the word.  I created a site containing offerings for teachers in my school for the upcoming school year, as well as a public one on which I'm hoping to place a Trainer badge. (feedback/suggestions are most welcome!)


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