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In this presentation I am going to go through a what is included, why you might do it, what are some of the challenges and where to once you have completed it.
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Published on Nov 20, 2015

Have you ever wanted to become a Google Educator, but didn't really know what was involved or where to start? This presentation is for you. Having recently gone through the process myself, I will unpack what it is all about, what is involved, the challenges you will face and how it all fits in the wider scheme of things. Throughout, I will provide you with some tips and tricks to support you along the way. Melbourne Google Summit 2014



Melbourne Google Summit 2014
In this presentation I am going to go through a what is included, why you might do it, what are some of the challenges and where to once you have completed it.


Simply putting it, being a 'Google Educator' is a recognition of your knowledge of a suite of Google applications especially with an eye to Google Apps for Education.
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4 main exams +
1 additional choice

It involves 4 main exams: Gmail, Calendar, Sites and Drive, as well as a choice from a range of products, including Chrome browser, Chromebooks and Tablets with Google Play
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60 questions in
90 minutes

Each exam includes a series of 60 question, with a mixture of true and false, as well as multiple choice questions. These questions are taken from an extensive bank, so no two exams are ever the same.
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Each exam costs $15

Each exam costs $15. That means at the very least it will cost you $75. It also needs to be noted that if you fail one, you need to pay another $15.
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PASS = 80%
(or 12 wrong)

To pass you need to get 80% correct. That equates to 12 wrong. In my first exam I got 76%.
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There are many reasons to become a Google Educator, finding your 'reason' will often relate to your situation.

Google, that's the search engine right?

For some it is a great way to learn about all the different possibilities that Google Apps for Education allows. If you still think that Google is a 'search engine' then this is for you.

I remember when everyone was going iGoogle

For others, they have been going Google for years, they still remember iGoogle. The certificate then represents some sort of recognition for all those hard years.
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Going GAFE

While for schools that are implementing Google Apps for Education, it is a great way of introducing staff to the full suite of applications and functionality.


Like anything, there are a range of challenges associated with becoming a Google Educator
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More technical
than functional

One of the biggest challenges was the focus on the more technical elements. A part of me thought that I knew quite a bit about the various applications. However, one place that I hadn't really spent much time was the 'settings'. I did what I had to do, but not much more. So even though I had a functional knowledge, this was not always adequate for some of the more technical questions.

Some questions
not included

Another challenge is that some of the questions are not necessarily included or covered within the various lessons, this is particularly the case with some of the more technical elements.
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Exams are demanding

Out of everything. The biggest challenge was the fact that the exams are rather demanding. Finding an hour and a half to NOT be interrupted with questions or a crying child was not easy. I feel that this was one of the main reasons that I failed my first exam.

Changing soon

Also you need to note that there will be new exams supporting refreshed content starting around October 17, 2014. This is simply one of those things when it comes to technology.
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Although the exams are challenging, there are some steps and strategies that you can take to support you along the way.
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Work as a team

A really common strategy is to do it in a team. I have heard some do it as a Year Level team or split the different exams up between various members so that everyone is a master of at least one, while others have spoken about having someone else as a quasi 'research assistant' when the complete teh exams. Really, to me, working in a team is as much for the mental support as anything else. I didn’t have a team who I completed it with, but I did have a team who I knew had gone before me.
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Take notes

It is a really good idea to take notes when going through the various lessons. I guess everyone does notes deferently. Some … For me it was about jotting down interesting ideas that either I didn’t know or hadn’t thought of, such as publishing documents to the web, that School Domains have their own collection of templates and using priority inbox to better organise Gmail)

Plan your time

Victoria Woelders suggests splitting the exams into three parts. 65 minutes to complete the actual questions. 15 minutes to check those that you have tagged as being unsure about and 10 minutes to check over everything.

Don’t start with Gmail

I did it, three other people I know did it. Don’t start with Gmail. Out of all the exams, it is the most demanding for there are so many different settings that it can be a little bit overawing, especially if it is the first one that you do. Some suggest starting with Google Calendar, others Chrome, whatever you do, start with something that you are comfortable with so that you can get comfortable with the format.
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Take THIS more advanced,
self-paced course

One of the misconceptions that I had was that the ‘more advanced’ material was just a bonus for those interested. WRONG. By my last exam I actually skipped the initial lessons and went straight to the more detailed material. There are plenty of headings and sections to break the information up into more manageable parts.

Study Stack

Some fine soul out there has created a range of 'study stacks' in support of the various exams. These are priceless, at the very least for giving you a feel for the exams. They also provide some feedback in the sense that you can check which ones you got right and wrong. This is an aspect missing in the actual exams.
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Time and Place

As I spoke about in regards to 'challenges', one of my failures with the first exam I took was that I kept on getting distracted. An hour and a half is a long time and you'll need most if not all of it, so make sure that you find a quiet time and space, I chose late at night. Others prefer early in the morning. Whatever you do, don't underestimate this.
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Be Prepared

After opening each of the sites attached to the additional material, I then opened the Docs via Google Drive and combined the information into one document. I preferred this than having six separate documents, especially when Ctrl+F will allow you to jump to any part of the document in a flash. Some talk about having a second computer for research or someone else also completing the exams to support you. I didn't do either of these things as I thought that they were overkill, but if that works for you, go for it.


One of the weird moments is when you complete the tour de force. I was left wondering what it all meant. Clearly it is an achievement in itself. However there are some things that you can also do.
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Use it or lose it

Firstly, there were so many tips and tricks that I learnt, however I know that unless I actually put them to use I am more than likely going to forget them. For example, at Google Summit last year I went to a great session on Google Sites, yet whether it was time or purpose, I never actually used it. Therefore, I had to learn many of the different aspects all over again this year.
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GEG aka
Google Educators Group

In addition to using the various applications, it is important to share this new knowledge with others. Other than engaging with other educators in your own educational environment, a great place to share and engage is through the GEG sessions. (http://www.google.com/landing/geg/). GEG provides a space for educators to meet, collaborate and learn both online and in-person.
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Google Trainer

Other than that, the next step is to become a full blown trainer.