Updated Post! Summer 2019 Edition!
What Does It Mean to Be a Google Certified Educator?
Even though you don't need a certificate to use Google tools, it's nice to be recognized for your expertise. Becoming a Google certified educator gives you that "proof" that you know your stuff when it comes to GSuite tools in education! Why would I recommend taking the time to do this?
My Top 3 Reasons for Becoming A Google Certified Educator?
There are lots of reasons to become a Google certified educator. I personally am a "life-long learning geek" when it comes to implementing new tech tools with teachers and students. A bonus, is the certificate and badge you get upon completion of each level of certification. I'm not sure why a badge is so exciting, but I love them (especially as a part of my email signature)!
That being said, here are my main reasons for encouraging others to become certified.
⓵ Learn the most up-to-date information about GSuite tools for educators.
⓶ Professional development at your own pace in your own place.
⓷ Find a network of like minded educators to connect with, and learn from across the globe.
What Types of Certifications Are Available?
I'm Convinced! Where Do I Start?
This is where Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning, comes in! She has the most amazing courses created to help educators prepare for each level of certification. I truly believe, she's the reason why I made it as a Certified Trainer the first time I applied. The courses just opened and enrollment is open until June 4,2019 (Do it now...it only opens twice a year)! Watch below for more information, then click on the Wakelet collection below when you are ready to register!
Here's my latest guest blog post for Kasey Bell, Shake Up Learning!
As an Instructional or Technology Coach, we have a lot to do on a daily basis. It’s not more or less than a classroom teacher, it’s just different.
The trouble with a coaching schedule is flexibility. I know… that doesn’t sound like a problem, but it can be. This is where productivity and organization are key!
If you don’t plan out your days, weeks, even school year, it can get away from you and then you’re often disappointed with the number of goals you complete.
*Note: I am fairly new to coaching, so I am not claiming to be an expert by any means!
This post also includes tips from coaches that are a part of the Shake Up Learning Facebook group. Make sure to join us today!
Read the full post on Shake Up Learning and
check out her new Podcast while you are there!
This is when blogging is really effective! As soon as you get an idea, you can write about it and share it with the world (well, the small part of the world who reads my blog). 😉
That being said, while watching one of the Ditch Summit session with Tony Vincent, it made me think of all the ways we can teach "on-the-fly" with GSuite tools. Yes, planning ahead is the best way to have awesome lessons, but sometimes you get a brilliant idea that only works RIGHT NOW. This is when GSuite tools come in handy!
Each of the Ditch Summit sessions have notes, but I still need to type notes while I'm listening so I don't forget the ideas that come to mind. In this session, I also made the decision to sign up for Tony's Classy Graphics course. I do pay for these things myself, but if it makes me better at what I do, I believe it's worth it. Should educators get a budget for this type of thing, most definitely, but that's out of my sphere of control, so I digress. This course starts in February, so it's not too late to sign up. It's discounted until January 8th!
Student "Play of the Week" with Google Slides
As a long-time fan of Kasey Bell and her awesome resources, I am #superexcited to have the opportunity to write a guest post for her blog,Shake Up Learning.
If you are a fan of Google Slides and giving students the chance to shine as a MVP in your classroom, check it out! This idea can also be used with your school faculty and staff to build culture.
Thanks for reading! Tag me on Twitter if you have any examples to share. @specialtechie #EDUPlayOfTheWeek
12/28/18 UPDATE: If you'd like to see an example, I've added one here.
In previous years, the Reading Coach had a great PLC agenda/notes template, but knowing when they were filled out or even if there were questions was hard for administration to keep up with. Our Principal really wanted to know if she could get a notification each time a PLC was held, but using a Google Team Drive, she'd have to just check the folders every day or watch the activity panel. We all know that is a time consuming task and not very productive. I knew we could use our GSuite tools to do it, just needed to figure out the best way to use them effectively! I'm sure there are add-ons and extensions for this, but we needed to keep it simple to be productive.
I guess I never really stopped thinking about it, then it literally came to me first thing the next morning as if I was still working on the problem in while I slept! Here's what I did...
Relaxation & Rejuvenation
Since summer does go quickly, I like to create a "Summer Bucket List" in the beginning of June and add something different to my calendar each day. Since I have kids, my husband and I let them help with our selections too.
If having plans every day is too much for you during the summer, plan just a couple days a week so time doesn't get away from you. Pinterest has lots of ideas to search through if this is something you'd like to add so you start back to school in August relaxed and rejuvenated!
Recommended reading for more ideas:
The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom by Dan Tricarico
*This was my favorite pool reading last summer!
Reflection is an amazing way to process what went well this year and what you want to change for next year. I use these questions from a Passion Planner I've used in the past. I may not follow it exactly, but it helps me with the reflection process. There are tons of reflection templates online as well.
Questions you can start with...
1. What went well?
2. What didn't go well?
3. What are my next steps?
4. What resources will I need to help me accomplish my goal(s).
I find it helpful to write answer these in a journal so I can look back at my responses. Look for "Bullet Journal" layouts and ideas if this sound like something you'd be interested in starting.
You'll have to act fast for the best deal, enrollment closes at midnight CST on June 10th.
Click the button below to join today!
- Cult of Pedagogy's Jennifer Gonzalez has an amazing blog, podcast and has courses available.
- Kasey Bell and Matt Miller have a podcast together called Google Teacher Tribe. If you haven't listened yet, go ahead and catch up this summer! It will be worth your time! They have kept me company every Monday morning on the way to work for a while now. #gttribe @gteachertribe
- Matt Miller has Teachable course called Tech to Learn. You can sign up here.
If I wasn't already signed up for 3 of Kasey's courses, one virtual course through College of Charleston, and one week of being a counselor for Engaging Creative Minds... then I'd sign up for one of these for sure!
Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax, rejuvenate, and stay relevant all at once. My stack is a little out of control, but there are so many good books out there for educators!
This stack is missing some my newest additions...
The Zen Teacher (mentioned above)
Shake Up Learning by Kasey Bell - Obviously, she's one of my favorite #edurockstars!
Ditch That Homework by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler
Onward by Elena Aguilar
Culturize by Jimmy Casas * This one is literally on the way thanks to my Amazon Prime addiction.
What's on your Summer Agenda?
I'll be working on some new resources including planning tools, Google PD, Hyperdocs for classroom use and more! Check back soon.
As always, thanks for reading!
#ditchbook Style Writing for Students
It's almost the end of my Spring Break, so now's a great time for catching up on some reading! As I was Reading Matt Miller's Ditch That Textbook I had an idea for how students can write Blogs without using a blogging site. This may be a way to get the same results without stressing teachers with learning a new program just by using Google Slides (which most of the students already know how to do) instead. I have to remember that not all teachers like technology as much as I do. 😉
"Blogging" with Google Slides
In his A-to-Z list of ideas, Matt says, "Turn student writing into a digital and collaborative activity. Students publish blog posts and classmates read others' work and add comments." When I think digital and collaborative, I think of the amazing power of GSuite for Education.
If you want them to be able to print them or save as a PDF book at the end of year, change the slide size to be paper size. I usually change it to be 8 x 10.5 inches so it fits nicely on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper. You can change this setting by going to File Page Setup Custom then type in 8 and 10.5 in the boxes making sure it says "inches" after the measurements. The GIF below will walk you though the steps.
Note: If you want to make a GIF yourself, using Gyazo GIF is an easy way to do it!
Google for Education Certified Trainer
Google for Education Certified Trainer!
This journey started in April of 2016 when I decided to start the process to become a Level 1 Google Certified Teacher. I began the online tutorials through the Google Training Center thinking it would be really easy to get through those. I was wrong! Going through those training modules taught me so much more than I thought they would. Apparently, I wasn't nearly as good as I thought I was. 😉
Keep in mind... When Google gives you 3 hours to take a test, make sure you give yourself 3 hours of uninterrupted time to get it done. I actually had to take the Level 1 test twice because I tried to take it the first time on my couch with 2 kids and my husband watching TV... I didn't even get through all the content! Well, I learned my lesson and locked my family out of my office for 3 hours to take it a second time. It still took me 2.5 hours to get it done. I learned so much through that process, I jumped into the Level 2 Google Certified Teacher training. This time, I knew better and locked my family out of my office again for the test and passed it the first time.
Google Teacher Tribe Inspiration!
Kasey mentioned having a Google Certified Trainer Course during one of the episodes. I've always loved attending and providing PD, so I figured it was worth the time, money and effort to jump into the course and see what I could do. I joined at the end of the school year so I could work on it during the summer. I found it really helpful to create a Bullet Journal spread to keep me on track during the journey!
Do What You Love!
Thanks for reading!
I realized this the other day when I was trying to use a computer that was set to use Internet Explorer by default. Some people may still like it (and that's perfectly fine), but it drives me crazy! I like to say, "Go Google, or Go Home!" but that's just my opinion. ?
I was trying to explain why they should switch, so I figured I should write up a quick post about it.
Reason 1: Chrome Extensions!
Reason 2: Chrome Bookmark Toolbar
Reason 3: Easy Access to G-Suite on any device
Creating Unique Documents
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.
I have experience teaching K-8 special ed. and General Ed. as well as instructional & technology coaching. Since I enjoy technology more than some, I started this blog for educators who love it too. Thanks for visiting!
My One Word