Posts tagged google certified teacher

Why I want to be a Google Certified Teacher.

GTA Logo

For the past few years Google has been running a Google Teacher Academy, where it invites a group of 50 educators to its offices for an intense day of training, input and new resources. I originally heard about this year’s Academy at the BETT 2012 show. Dana Nguyen’s talk about becoming a Google certified teacher was pretty inspirational, so as a teacher (and perhaps more importantly teacher-trainer) I decided that this year I’m going to apply to attend. I guess I hope that knowing more about Google and its tools like Google Apps for Education will allow me to provide more meaningful seminars which will be cheaper for schools to implement and which will be simpler for my trainees to adapt to their teaching.

In its application page to join the Academy, Google says that it’s looking for teachers who are:Google Certified Teachers are:

  • Exceptional educators with a passion for using innovative tools to improve teaching and learning.
  • Creative leaders who understand their local needs and can spread innovation as a recognized expert.
  • Ambassadors for change who model high expectations, life-long learning, collaboration, equity & inclusion, and innovation.

all of which I strive to be at all times, hopefully as successfully as possible.

As part of the application process, all potential participants, must upload a short 1 min video to YouTube, or Google video, explaining why they wish to be a Google teacher. Seeing as I’ve done a bit of work using video with my learners in the past, I thought that this would be a fun challenge, so I set about recording a video yesterday. What you see below is the result. I must admit I’m pretty pleased with how it come out, although there are certainly things I might still change, I think after a while you have to stop being a perfectionist and just say: “yes this has reached a decent enough standard.”


Thanks again to my friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter who suggested a couple of tweaks to the original video to make it snappy, and a little more logical. So what do you think, would you invite me to the Google Academy?

if you fancy joining this year’s Academy, it’s in London on the fourth and fifth of April 2012. You can find all the details and apply online here at the Google Teacher Academy page. But hurry though, there’s only six more days in which you can apply!


Best of The BETT – Part 6

The Logo for Google AppsTo round up my series of interviews from BETT 2012, I have a post today about what I believe is going to be one of the most influential developments in educational technology in the year or so. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly was the most interesting new thing I saw at BETT 2012. It is of course, Google Education.

I saw two or three of the presentations Google gave at their stand, in particular one given by Dana Nguyen on the Google Apps for Education and the Google Certified Teacher programme really stood out. Both of these programs are worth a much closer look.  I’m thinking of blogging about these in the future, so I’ll save the space here and talk about them in depth later. Apart from the fact that I’m quite a fan of Google anyway, I really was impressed by what the company is doing to try and make technology more accessible for students and teachers. In many respects, while the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching is still a “new” innovation, the free services that companies like Google offer can often act as a gateway for teachers to start using technology. This is even more true when the technology being used is the same as, or similar to that which teachers are used to in their everyday lives.
I guess it still remains to be seen whether Google apps for education will end up being as much of a game changer as YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and the other successful Google services have been. Without a doubt though, the other VLEs like Blackboard, Frog, Moodle and Fronter will be keeping a careful eye on what Google is up to. What’s more, now that Apple have announced their entry into the educational market with their iBooks 2 launch last week, I’m sure that Google are going to continue to press ahead with innovations, making Google Apps for education a very interesting suite of tools to keep an eye on.

On the final day of the BETT show, I was lucky enough to score a bit of a scoop, and I got an interview with William Florance, Google’s Head of Education, for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Apart from the fact that he rushed back from his lunch early so that I could do the interview and catch a train, he seemed like a really nice guy, and as might be expected, a really strong believer in the potential of Google Apps for Education.

So before I pass over to William, I think it’s right to just say in this final BETT post, that the show was incredibly helpful for me as an educator interested in technology. I really highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field. Although the selection of hardware, software and services dedicated to language teaching wasn’t as big as I’d hoped, there is just so much to see, that it really will be a valuable experience to anyone who chooses to go there. There will be something for everyone, I’m quite sure. I’m definitely going again in 2013, if you fancy a coffee and a bit of advice about what to see, I’ll meet you at Excel, London next year!


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