This fall, as part of a tech grant I’m involved with, I became a “Google Certified Educator.” That means hours upon hours of training on Google apps and extensions, as well as two ludicrously long exams.
Yes, I can tell you’re impressed.
But here’s the part I want to share with you: I had no idea this program existed before I was required to go through it. Google has a vast array of tools, all available for free, to explore, curate, and create online content. All of these tools integrate with each other seamlessly, so you can use Tour Builder, for example, to create a tour around maps of Rome and then populate it with text, photographs, video, quizzes, links to other resources, etc. You can send out a Google form to conduct a quiz, poll, or survey, and have it automatically populate a spreadsheet with responses, as well as have the spreadsheet organize those responses in a million different ways or, in the case of a quiz, use an add-on like Flubaroo to automatically grade those responses.
Best part: while it costs a little ($35 total) to take the exams and receive official certification, all of the training is FREE through the Google Training Center.
If you teach anything, even just a course or two in your homeschool co-op, or if you are homeschooling multiple kids through the same curriculum, I encourage you to take a look at the resources Google has to offer. You may even want your older kids to go through the training themselves to get a good grasp of how to use spreadsheets, how to build presentations, and how to integrate many of the programs and resources available for free online.
Check it out and let me know what you think!