Certified Teachers and Trainers. I remember being awed by this group of educators who seemed to have all the answers and cool schwag. I hoped that one day I would be able to include myself in that group.
After 5 years of getting to know Google for Education, leading my district's transition to Google tools, hosting workshops for teachers in my district, and presenting at conferences, I finally decided to put honest effort into my goal of becoming a Google for Education Certified Trainer (GET).
It took me a few years to figure out exactly where I was going to reach my destination of becoming a Google Certified Trainer, but once I had my road map laid out, I made it there. Hopefully following this road map will help you reach your goal of becoming a Google Certified Trainer!
Stop 1: Become a Google Certified Educator
In a recent blog post, I shared five reasons to become a Google Certified Educator. I strongly believe that any educator in a Google school should prepare for and take the Google Educator Level 1 exam (read my previous blog post to find out why). Passing the Google Educator exams is the first step to becoming a GET. No matter how experienced you are with Google tools, I strongly recommend working through the training modules provided by Google prior to taking the Level 1 and 2 exams. If you don't need to work through all of the training modules, at least take the Unit Review quizzes because the really help to prepare educators for the exams. If you already use the Google tools covered in the training modules and can pass the Unit Reviews, then you are likely ready for the test!
Once you feel prepared for the Level 1 and 2 exams, plan to purchase the exam(s) a day before you want to take it. Once your test(s) have been delivered to your email you will have one week to take the exam(s). Educators are allowed three hours for testing, so make sure that you block off that much time in a quiet space.
Stop 2: Lead as much PD around Google tools as you can
Google recognizes Certified Trainers because they are already actively sharing, leading, and conducting trainings on Google tools. In fact, just to apply for the GET program, an educator has to have a resume of at least five trainings dedicated to Google for Education tools. Like I said above, I led PD for nearly five years before applying to be a GET because I wanted to make sure that I had plenty experience before I applied to be in the program. While, you probably don't want to wait five years to apply to be a GET (and I can't blame you for that...I wish I would have applied years ago), it is important that you have a strong training resume prior to applying. You can develop that resume by presenting at PD days, leading PLC groups, hosting summer workshops for teachers in your district, and applying to present at local and regional conferences.
Stop 3: Pass the Google Trainer Skills Assessment
In order to submit an application to be a GET, you must show Google that you are a Google Certified Educator Level 1, Level 2, and that you have passed the Trainer Skills Assessment. Just like the Certified Educator program, Google offers a training course to help trainers prepare for this exam. While I can't tell you about the contents of the exam, I will say that this training module is not focused specifically on Google tools or knowing how many collaborators a document can have. Instead, this module focuses on delivering high quality professional development. I found this exam to be the easiest of the three and only took about 15 of the allotted 60 minutes to pass it.
Stop 4: Create a training case study
One of the main components of the GET application is a case study detailing training on Google for Eduction tools you have given in the past. The case study has four main sections, each with a 200 word limit:
As a part of the case study, applicants are asked to submit feedback from their training session. I included both anecdotal feedback (testimonials from teachers) and objective data (formal workshop evaluation data) in my application. It's incredibly important to ensure that you have detailed workshop feedback, because Google wants to know that it is bringing on effective trainers.
Additionally, applicants need to submit examples of training materials used during the training: agenda, slide decks, etc. Be sure to submit the best examples you have from your training. If you have multiple documents to submit, go ahead and submit them. The more materials you submit, the better the evaluator can get to know you and your training style.
Stop 5: Make an application video
The most time-consuming part of the GET application is the application video. Google recommends that applicants spend between 3 and 4 hours scripting, shooting, and editing their trainer video. The first minute of the video should be the applicant creatively introducing him or herself and demonstrating their "Googleiness". This portion of the video gives you an opportunity to stand out from other applicants. That could be with a green screen video or a clever way to introduce your training.
The last two minutes of the video should be the applicant doing a screencast training on a Google tool. These two minutes will go by very quickly, so be sure to cut right to the chase and edit out any extra breathes, pauses, or wait time built into your video. Any screencasting software such as Screencast-o-matic or Screencastify will do the trick for recording and editing your screencast. Once you finish your training, be sure to have a colleague watch your video and work through the steps you give to make sure that you didn't leave out any steps.
I have embedded my application video below to give you a starting place for ideas for your video.
Stop 6: Connect with Google Certified Trainers in your area
The process to become a Google Certified Trainer isn't quick or easy, so it's important to have a strong network to support you as you work towards your goal. Make connections with GETs in your area to get addition input on the process, feedback on your work, and advice on your application. The connections I made with GETs like Nick Cusumano, Stephanie Filardo, and Greg Lawrence (among many others) over the years helped me grow in my role as a Technology Coordinator and helped prepare me to become a Google Education Trainer.
There are many benefits to becoming a Google Education Trainer. The greatest benefit for me has been the strong network of Trainers I have connected with. Once a Trainer is onboarded, they are given access to a Google Group with shared resources and a message board that all 1,000+ GETs use to share resources and ideas and ask questions. Additionally, all GETs are able to list themselves on the Google Trainer directory to be contacted for paid consulting and training jobs.
If you have been thinking about applying to be a Google Education Trainer, now is the time! Do you still have questions about the process? Are you a Google Education Trainer with thoughts, and ideas to add to the conversation? Sound off in the comments below with additional questions and comments!