Veronica With Four Eyes

Becoming A Google Certified Educator Level 2 With Low Vision

After I passed the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam, I received a few messages from other educators asking if I was going to take the Google Certified Educator Level 2 exam, which focuses more on using Google products in the classroom and ways to use them for classroom management. I’m excited to share that I passed the exam, and today I will be sharing my experience about becoming a Google Certified Educator Level 2 as a college student with low vision.

WHAT IS A GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR?

The Google Certified Educator program is a professional development program offered through Google For Education that allows people within the education space to learn more about Google products and how they can be integrated into classrooms. Google provides a free comprehensive study guide for the exam and allows users to read through training materials, practice how to use Google software/apps, and complete lesson checks to ensure understanding of the material. Once users complete the study guide, they can register to take the Google Certified Educator exam on Kryterion and pay $25 to take the exam. After passing the exam, users will receive a certificate and badge they can add to social media or resumes, and the exam is valid for three years.

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GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR LEVEL 1 VS LEVEL 2

There are two different levels for the Google Certified Educator program, though users will need to have their Level 1 certification before they can start their Level 2 certification. The Level 1 exam focuses more on introducing educators to different products and how to incorporate technology in the classroom, while the Level 2 exam goes more in-depth into using Google products in education spaces and how to implement tools across different subject areas, as well as digitizing classroom activities.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM BECOMING A GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR?

While the Google Certified Educator program is designed for people who teach in a classroom, other people who work with students or in the education space can still benefit from the information shared in this program. Some examples of people who can benefit from becoming a Google Certified Educator at the Level 2 level include:

  • Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs)
  • Teachers who are new to remote learning and are in school districts that already use Google products
  • Assistive technology specialists
  • College students who use Google/G Suite products, especially those in education-related majors
  • School educational technology specialists

Students that are between the ages of 13 and 18 are ineligible for this certification but can take the G Suite certification, which I will talk about in a later post.

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GETTING STARTED WITH THE GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR PROGRAM

In order to get started with the Google Certified Educator program, users will need to do the following:

  1. Go to the Teacher Center, which is part of Google for Education (link below)
  2. Sign in to a Google account- Google strongly recommends that this be a personal account that someone will not lose access to
  3. Click on the “Certification” tab
  4. Select the option for “Google Certified Educator Level 2”

This is different from actually registering for the test- that process will be outlined in a later section.

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STUDY GUIDE INTERFACE

The study guide for the Google Certified Level 2 exam is divided into the following sections. It took me a little over three hours to complete the study guide, though it’s worth noting that I had already taken classes related to implementing educational technology in high school and college, and I was very familiar with Google products.

  • Promote and Model The Effective Use of Digital Tools
  • Leverage Learning Models To Personalize Learning
  • Use Advanced Features To Optimize Workflow
  • Connect With Guardians
  • Analyze and Interpret Student Data
  • Organize Your Class and School Materials More Effectively
  • Designing Interactive Curricula
  • Teach Beyond The Four Walls Of Your Classroom
  • Harness The Power Of Google For Research
  • Give Students A Voice
  • Student Agency

Examples of applications that are covered within the study guide are included but not limited to:

  • Search
  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Earth
  • Calendar
  • Slides
  • Drawings
  • Forms
  • Gmail
  • YouTube
  • Hangouts
  • Other mobile apps

REGISTERING FOR THE EXAM

Registering for the Google Certified Educator Level 2 exam is a little bit confusing, as users will need to do it through the Kryterion website, which is linked within the Google Teacher Center. Users will need to provide the email address that they used to access the content in the Teacher center, as well as their legal name, email, address, and other information that helps Google learn about who is taking the test.

After registering and paying the $25 testing fee, users will have eight days to take the test, after which they will automatically lose their registration. I took my exam about two hours after registering for it.

WHAT IS THE GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR LEVEL 2 EXAM LIKE?

People who take the Google Certified Educator Level 2 exam are required to sign an NDA, meaning that they are unable to disclose the exact contents of the exam. However, what I can share is that the test consists of a mix of multiple-choice questions and simulation exercises that are done within the incognito window of Google Chrome, the training modules prepared me well for the exam, and I didn’t need to use any other outside resources for studying.

Users will need to have a webcam so that the software can monitor them as they take the test, in order to ensure that the same person is taking the test at all times. It’s worth noting that I did not need to get approval to wear my prescription tinted glasses during the exam, which wasn’t the case for some other remote exams I have taken in the past.

Users will find out if they passed the exam or not on the same day- I found out about an hour after I took the test.  They will receive a copy of their digital badge and personalized certificate in the same email that confirms their test results.

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ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE GOOGLE CERTIFIED EDUCATOR PROGRAM

One of the things that I love about the Google Certified Educator exam is that it is taken within the Google Chrome browser, so I can easily use assistive technology such as a screen reader or zoom in on my web browser. I also used Windows Magnifier as needed to zoom in on smaller portions of the screen, and did not need any approval in advance to use these tools- same goes for using a screen reader such as NVDA. The simulations had the same accessibility settings available as the Google apps normally do, so I didn’t have to worry about not having access to certain settings.

The test itself is 180 minutes long, and users can apply for extra time if needed, as long as they provide medical documentation. I did not apply for extra time as I believed I would not need it since I was testing at a familiar location and had access to all of my accessibility settings, and I ended up finishing before the three-hour mark.

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COOL THINGS I LEARNED

Some examples of cool things I learned from the Google Certified Educator Level 2 program include:

  • Creating websites/pages using Google Sites, something I’ve helped a few teachers with
  • Tips for using YouTube Creator Studio to create interactive videos
  • How to run more effective web searches when doing research, and how to take full advantage of features within Google Scholar (for example, I learned that I could use Google Scholar to find citations!)
  • Using Google Maps and Google Earth for virtual field trips (I got to go to a zoo using these tools- more on that in a future post)
  • Advice on effective instructional design that can be shared with students

I hope to address all of the interesting things I learned in future posts in the coming months, and continue to share the cool things I learned from other educators as well!

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I am so excited to be a Google Certified Educator Level 2, and I have already had many opportunities to implement the skills I learned when studying for this exam as more teachers transition to using digital tools in their classrooms and students ask me questions about how to use Google products. I highly recommend taking the Google Certified Educator Level 2 exam, as it is a great way to demonstrate knowledge of different Google products and even learn a few new things along the way.

Becoming A Google Certified Educator Level 2 With Low Vision. How to become a Google Certified Educator Level 2 and learn more about using Google products in the digital classroom



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