An Experiment IRT (in real time)

My new learning project: the path to becoming a Google Certified Trainer

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DAY 1: January 30, 2013

I’m sitting in a coffee shop on Clement Street, at the window bar facing a sunny San Francisco day.  My coffee shop companions include an assortment of locals: students, moms with strollers, senior citizens… and everyone is using at least one mobile device.

Step 1: Read the directions

I’m a follow the picture kind of learner – I like to jump in and start assembling before I have a clear idea of what I’m making or what tools I need.  I’m intentionally choosing a different approach for my Google Certification process.  I plan on watching all the video tutorials before taking each test.  I’ll reflect on this process as I get into it

Google Apps for Education Training Center imgres-1

This is where I begin.  Welcome to the Google Apps for Education Training Center. This is an online learning environment dedicated for educators and students to learn how to effectively use Google Apps in an educational context.

Module 1: Google Apps for Education has 4 chapters (each chapter should take 20 minutes to read through)

  • Chapter 1 Learning Objectives (this is a basic overview with lots of verbiage – much of it I already knew.  I still managed to procrastinate my way through it and take way more time than I needed to.  But I read through it all)
    • Google Apps for Education Overview
    • Understanding the difference between Google Apps accounts and Gmail accounts
    • Top 10 reasons to use Google Apps
  • Chapter 2-4 Learning Objectives include all the how-to stuff.  It took me less that 20 minutes to read through all the pages, since most of it was already familiar to me.  And the final review page serves as a good reminder of what’s what.
    • How to sign in to Google Apps products
    • How to access the control panel as an administrator
    • Choosing to add/remove services for your domain
    • Customizing products for your domain
    • Setting up email policies for your domain
    • Creating school-wide ‘groups’ for email lists and sharing
    • Finding more resources for Google Apps admins
    • Reviewing general FAQs
    • Accessing Google Apps Security & Privacy FAQs

I think I will take the Admin Exam now and see how I do before commenting on my deep understanding of Module 1.  I am planning on buying each test separately ($15/ea) as opposed to the bundle of 6 for $90.  There’s no savings in buying the bundle, so no reason to get ahead of myself.

DAY 2: January 31, 2013

So yesterday came and went without my purchasing Test 1.  I didn’t want to get too far removed from the content so I purchased it tonight.  You have 48 hours from purchase time to complete the test, but you ONLY have 90 minutes from when you actually begin.  There are 60 questions, T/F and multiple choice.  They are presented one at a time and you have the option of skipping a question and going back to it later.  You also have the option of reviewing your answers and changing them at any time before you hit the final “end” button.

Pace yourself – you have ample time to answer the questions.  And the questions are not especially difficult or challenging but you do need to carefully read the questions.  I don’t know if it’s considered an open-book exam and if it’s appropriate to go back and re-read the information.  I did not see anything to that effect.

imgres-1I completed the exam in 30 minutes with a passing score of 86%.  No doubt the answers I missed will be obvious once I re-read the question but at the moment I can’t seem to figure out how to see which questions I answered inaccurately.  I totally embrace the #FailForward philosophy but would learn better if I could see a list of the questions I got wrong.

$15 well spent?  I think so.  I’m feeling really good that I’ve gotten this far on my journey toward being a Google Certified Trainer.  One step in front of the other… one at a time.

Now if only I could remember my password.

Next week –   Test 2

Is it even possible practically 5 months have gone by and I’ve been so busy with… #unemployment that I haven’t moved on to Test 2?  And Google has changed it up a bit – they’re updating things.  What to do?

PLEASE NOTE: We are undergoing a major redesign to the Google in Education training center and to the exams for the Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer program. The latest content is available under “updated training modules”, but the exams cover the material in the “original training modules”. We are aware that this is not ideal. You may want to consider waiting until July to take the exams with updated content.

Remember, you need to pass – not be perfect.  It’s about moving forward.  And it’s also about trusting your intuition and not second-guessing yourself all the time.

I’m pleased to report that with 2 minutes to spare… I did it!  I passed with 83%.  I’m going to push myself to take Exam #3 “Calendar” tomorrow.


Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 6.52.46 PM


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