GoogleFEST is coming! This is a great way to learn how to utilize Google Apps for Education to increase engagement, collaboration and learning outcomes before you get back to the classroom.
GoogleFEST is August 9 & 10 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. Registration will open on April 29 at the MACUL website.
Google has a robust set of training courses that any Google user can access for free. The courses are organized into segments that incorporate reflection, goal setting, and classroom application in the study of Google tools. This means that individuals that work through the lessons can contemplate what they want to accomplish with technology, not just learn what buttons to click. Go here to start the fundamentals or advanced training. You can also access training based on specific applications and devices here.
These courses, or components of them, could be used to individualize training for educators, and I recommend that they be used in conjunction with content or grade level staff meetings. In that arrangement, people can build the skills they need and then work together to build more substantial integration into their curriculum. Administrators could ask people to submit their goals or progress as a way to ensure people are participating (they should also provide contract time for doing this!).
Of course, individuals could access these as well, and it could be a good way to get new teachers acclimated or struggling teachers to a greater level of comfort. People even have the option to become Google certified. No matter what, it’s great to have a free option available.