Google for Education has introduced an online Training Center in an effort to help better prepare teachers for the upcoming school year by integrating Google products into their classrooms.
Google’s Training Center offers free, online training to teachers with the hopes of helping to enhance the classroom experience through the addition of technology. Several training paths are available to meet individual needs. The fundamentals training program is available for those with limited experience with Google tools, while an advanced program builds upon the fundamentals program, offering “cutting-edge strategies” for classroom use.
In addition, a devices training program offering training on using Chromebooks and Android tablets within the classroom, as well as a trainer program for those interested in becoming a Certified Trainer.
Upon completion of the fundamentals or advanced course, teachers are invited to take the Google Certified Educator Level 1 or Level 2 exam available on the site. Participants are allowed to study the material at their own pace before taking the online exams, which can be accessed at any time.
A number of resources are available for those who need additional help throughout the training process. Helpful materials are available for each of the tools and devices offered, in addition to real-world examples of how educators are using Google in their own curriculum and classrooms. The program also offers the capability to discuss Google tools and devices with peers, both in person and online.
Teachers across the country are participating in a number of similar training program, including about 200 educators from Lehigh Valley district schools in Pennsylvania, who attended an Edu Summit over two days in order to obtain training and professional development pertaining to the integration of technology into the classroom setting and building a connection with English language learner students.
“I don’t stop working in June,” said Salisbury Middle School sixth grade teacher Cathy Yurconic, who attended the Edu Summit last week. “What I’m doing is freshening up my teaching practices. I don’t stay stagnant.”
While Brooklyn-based organization The New Teacher Project recently released a study claiming districts spend too much money on these professional development sessions that they said does not lead to better teaching, teachers and administrators argue that the process allows them the chance to recharge over the summer months, writes Jacqueline Palochko for The Morning Call.
“The best way to improve your school’s performance is to improve your teachers’ performance, and that happens through professional development,” Bethlehem’s Assistant Superintendent Jack Silva said.