Innovation: Education

Chasing Google: A Defining Moment

Becoming a Google Certified Educator

Google Certified EducatorMy fascination with Google started in the early 2000’s simply from a financial interest. Here was this really cool “tech” company entering the stock market for just under $100 a share, $85 to be exact, at a time where comparable companies were selling for much higher prices.

A group of my friends and I would get together on a regular basis under the false pretense of being “investors”, and talk about potential purchases, mostly penny stocks. We felt empowered to buy 100 stocks, for a dollar…

NASDAQ_GOOG_-_Google_SearchKeeping in mind we are talking about a whopping $50 dollars between the four of us! Not even enough to buy 1 stock of Google.

As the weeks went on we researched, talked about Google, researched, talked about Google some more, all the while watching the stock prices rise faster then we could imagine. Well, safe to say, we never bough a single stock of Google (still kicking myself on that one) but we were enlightened by the possibilities this Google thing offered.

All four of us were new to teaching at the time and were still discovering who we were and wanted to become. Being as impressionable as a middle school student, Google’s powers took hold and started to drive my interesting for leveraging technology in the classroom.

I was fortunate to work in a tech forward school with great visionary leadership to foster my growth and development. Slowly and surely, I began to introduce tools to students to support them in their desire to understand their world. To seek knowledge in real time, read opposing views, and make their own ideas, and then write about them.

Because, Google saves everything, I went back and looked at my class blogs, I even found one from Vermont Fest in 2004, scary. It was like a walk down memory lane.

Back to the point: my students started to think for themselves, generate their own questions, and were engaged in active learning. I have to admit, I felt guilty for several reasons. In reflection, I utilized (hogged) most of the tech resources, most of the time. I felt like students were working harder than I was, and that was uncomfortable, at the time.

As Google continuGoogle certified educatored to evolve, I found that I was using the same tools in my personal life as I was in the classroom with my students. Then Google formally jumped into the education world (see Google Time Line) with Apps for Education. Awesome!!!! My reliance and love for the Google product grew exponentially for here. I was hooked and it seems to work, well I might add.

As my focus in education broadened from the class room to whole school systems, Google was the perfect tool to keep it all together.

My latest relationship with Google centers around their certification process. As an avid user of Google, I was surprised how much I learned working through their new Level 1 Certification. I am happy to say I have passed their Level 1 exam. Yeah!!!!

My direction will be to work towards a Google Certified Innovator. Who knows what will be next as I continue to chase Google.

Scott Thompson

Educator, Student advocate, husband, father, adventurer, outdoor enthusiast, cook, traveler, and former North American Nerf Golf Champion.

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