“Google Certified Educator,” is not just today’s newest resume-building buzzword. The practical application of basic G Suite knowledge has the power to transform a classroom into that efficient, multi-tiered, student-led learning machine of teachers’ dreams.
Chances are you’ve explored areas of G Suite and possibly even used it in the classroom. If you haven’t, you’re missing out. For those 1:1 teachers who regularly use Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, Forms and Classroom: this test is a breeze. You can probably get away with not completing the tutorials provided in the Google For Education: Training Center. For the rest of you, it’s not as intimidating as it seems. Here are 5 quick tips for passing the Level 1 Exam.
1. USE G SUITE.
Just buckle down and use it. Try giving an assessment in Google Forms. Create an optional enrichment assignment for students through Google Classroom. Don’t have 1:1 technology? LET THEM USE THEIR PHONES. Don’t make excuses. Make some digital worksheets and see what happens. If you already use some Google tools regularly, start exploring the programs you don’t use as frequently. Practical understanding of these programs will take you further than some of the training center tutorials. Plus you’ll probably get some kudos from admin for incorporating technology in a meaningful way. WIN WIN.
2. DON’T SKIP THE TRAINING.
If you don’t use EVERY aspect of G Suite regularly, DO NOT skip the training. Yes it’s long. Yes, you might even fall asleep reading like someone else I know (…me. it was me.) but the unit reviews alone will help direct your knowledge of the exam content. I didn’t watch many of the videos and toward the end of the units I started skimming through the paragraphs BUT I walked away knowing something really important: What areas of G Suite I needed to know better.
3. PLAN YOUR TEST TIME.
There is a 3 hour time limit on the level 1 exam. You may not need all of the time (I had 58 minutes to spare) but you need to plan for 3 hours. Make sure you have a quiet, comfortable space to use for the full time limit.
4. USE GOOGLE!
You will be recorded via webcam for the entirety of your test (don’t get psyched out by the ever-present little image of yourself in the corner). Your screen is NOT recorded. You can open new tabs and search for information throughout your test. If a question asks you to create an assignment/event/assessment in a program and you’re not sure how to do that: GOOGLE IT. Seriously, open a new tab and type in, “how to create a _______ in ________,” and scan results quickly for a reliable resource. It will save you time and is perfectly permissible during the exam.
5. DON’T GET STUCK ON CONTENT.
The first section of the exam consists of multiple choice questions mirroring much of the training center unit reviews. The second, much longer, section gives you practical tasks using the different G Suite applications. If one of the tasks asks you to create a slideshow in Google Slides or an assessment in Google Forms, don’t get hung up on the content of those tasks. There is not going to be a Biology teacher fact checking the content of your assessment. The point is to show that you have a thorough understanding of HOW to use these applications. Save yourself some time and keep it simple.
I hope this helps! Now go get a head start on creating that amazing learning machine for next year. I mean, it’s what summer is for, amiright?