Why Become a Google Certified Educator + 10 Insider Tips

What is Google Educator Certification + 10 Insider Tips to Get You Started

2020-2021 has brought educators a lot of stress and a few too many instructional technology resources and suggestions. Am I right? I’m an instructional technology enthusiast, and I even find myself weary of all the “suggestions,” “tips,” and “tricks” that are thrown at us consistently. I’m here to give you yet another tech PD suggestion, but I promise it’s worth it, and better yet, it’s useful – Google Certified Educator. Follow me as we journey through how YOU can become the next Google Certified Educator in your school.

What Is a Google Certified Educator?

Google for Education’s teacher training is an online professional development for K-12 teachers that teaches educators how to use G-Suite in the classroom. The training’s popularity has increased over the last 10-months due to pandemic-related eLearning and hybrid instructional models.

Here’s how it works:

Becoming a Google Certified Educator is more attainable than you may think!

  • The certification process includes a 12-hour training that consists of two parts: level 1 and level 2.
    • The first level of training/examination costs $10.00. It highlights basics like app navigation and search engine terminology.
    • The second level of training/examination costs $25.00. It challenges users to implement instructional strategies in Google Classroom and other G-Suite apps, like creating Google Sites and filling in Google Sheets.

*Pro-Tip: Many districts cover the training fee for their teachers. Check out your district’s policies.

  • Teacher-learners must pass a final examination for each level to advance or receive certification. Educators must renew their certification every three years.
  • Teachers who complete certification receive a certificate for both levels.

*Pro-Tip: Consider including your certificate in a professional development portfolio or counting your hours towards recertification if guidelines in your state permit.

Insider Training Tips

Let’s dispel preconceived notions about instructional tech PD—this is not your average training. GCE forces users to learn by doing as teachers gain hands-on experience creating and navigating resources in educationally relevant G-Suite apps.

  1. Don’t rush through the first level. You will struggle in level two without knowledge of the basics provided in the first level: Google Classroom, Google Sheets, Google Sites, Google Docs, and more.
  2. Do not skip over the videos and tutorials in the training! Save those links so you can go back and study for the exams and reference them in real-life when dealing with tech difficulties.
  3. Make your own study guide. Take extensive notes while training to use as study materials.
  4. Save those notes in a safe place. I’ve referenced my GCE notes for real-world tech scenarios in my classroom. For example, my students were creating Google Sites for a project last year. I knew I had notes on the subject, so I referenced them to guide my students through the activity.
  5. Take a break between levels one and two! Don’t attempt both pieces of training over a single weekend or week—you’ll burn out and won’t find the fun in it.
  6. Get support. Join a GCE teacher community to pick the brains of like-minded G-Suite teachers (see links below).
  7. Take practice opportunities seriously while training. Did the training prompt you to create a fake Google Classroom class? Do it to prepare for the exam and to prep for your kiddos.
  8. Check your understanding. While training, frequently ask yourself, “can I explain this to my students?” If not, review!
  9. Find a quiet space to take your exams. They’re timed, so make sure you know your stuff before taking them and are free of distractions.
  10. Have fun! Don’t lose sight of why you’re training. By increasing your technology competency, you’re bettering the learning experiences of your kiddos.

More Google Certified Educator resources

Are you still undecided, or do you want to learn more? Check out these GCE resources to get you started.

Ready to take the leap? Get started on your Google Certified Educator HERE!


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Katherine Stall

Katie is a high school English teacher. She loves reading, her cat Patches, and doing yoga. When she's not teaching or writing, you can find her treasure hunting in the closest thrift store.

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