Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Learning Reflection!!!

INTRODUCTION


I am a dynamic and enthusiastic Google Certified Educator who is passionate about helping teachers with integration of technology in their classroom to improve leaning, develop critical thinking and enhance communication and collaboration. This course is timely for me because it has helped in giving me the tools I need in doing outstanding job in this position. Below are some exceptional areas of growth relating to the following learning goals:

Learning about Google Tools (Expert Proficiency)

I consider myself very proficient in using Google tools, thanks to the knowledge I gained from this class. Particularly Google Drive and all it’s components which include docs, forms, sheets, slides and drawing are all tools that I am now very competent with, and also confident in teaching others. The research tool is probably my most exciting discovery and the fact that multiple people can work collaboratively on a project is something I have started implementing at work.   

Learning about the culture of collaboration made possible by Online Collaborative Tools (Book Discussion)

Our class book discussion opened my eyes to different ways that online collaboration can occur using Google Moderator, Google Group and Google Plus. The best part: it is ridiculously easy to set these up, using your basic google account. Why didn't I know this before now? I am presently working to convince our district’s director of technology to unblock google plus at least for the teacher’s account so we can use this great learning tool. But now that am ready to run with these, I just found out that moderator will be discontinued. Bummer

Experiencing Collaboration/Cooperation using Online Tools (Class Participation and Collaboration projects, and Expert Proficiency)

It is amazing to see how we all collaboratively contributed to building a website. A bell rang in my ears. My school uses google site and now I realize that rather than having one person laden with the task of updating information on different programs that we offer, the instructors themselves can update their own page and design it to their taste. Bingo!!! My next professional development with the teachers will be on Google sites and the aim is for instructors to take ownership of their page in our school website.

Applying learning through a Final Project

I am very proud of myself for what I accomplished in my final project. Slowly but surely, I went through the Google Educator Certification and went ahead to document my work in a Google site and blogger. This is a testament of directly applying what I learned in this course. Many of my colleagues have already benefited from my experience because I am no longer shy in sharing my knowledge. I can now set up a website, something that I didn't know how to do prior to this course.  

Other learning

I was happy to learn about the ctrl + F button. You should see the excitement on both teachers and students faces when I let them in on this secret of smart research. This course has opened me up to so many online tools and am now using Apps and extensions from the Chrome web store to make my work easier and more innovative.


CONCLUSION


I can say that the instructional style of this course is remarkable. Slow learners did not feel overwhelmed and fast learners did not feel bored. Everybody has something to teach and learn. Thank you Lucie and all my classmates for a job well done.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finally!!!

I choose Google Chrome as my elective exam to complete my certification. In order not to leave anything to chance, I carefully reviewed the basics and advanced lessons. It was really awesome to both remind myself of some of the things I knew and to also learn even more. The following are some new knowledge from chrome lessons:

Google Chrome Omnibox is more than just a search bar. It can be used as a dictionary, world clock and many more. You can even add more custom searches to it.

You can bookmark multiple pages and put them in a folder. This certainly makes reading and researching so convenient and you can quickly continue where you left off.

I had fun changing my chrome browser into different themes. Pretty cool stuff.

This test was actually the easiest for me. The only one I got 90%. The best was saved for last.

I am very happy to have gone through with Google educator certification. These exams made me very nervous but I learned so much about Google Apps and am ready to share my knowledge with anybody who is interested in Google.

Click HERE to view my results.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

G.......mail Test!!!

Gmail certification test proved to be very challenging for me. I reviewed the advanced features today and practiced all the step-by-step exercises. Then I decided to take the exam. I was very surprised to see lots of questions that frankly I thought I didn't read from the lessons. At least I didn't remember them from the lessons. I answered them mostly from my experience of using Gmail. I used up almost ALL the 90 minutes allotted for the test and fortunately I passed. 

My two cents to whomever is going in for this test: don't assume it's easy. Review ALL the lessons and practice the exercises. You would be glad you did!!!




Thursday, March 12, 2015

Progress on Google Calendar

Like I mentioned earlier, we use Google Calendar a lot to schedule different events at school. Faculty meetings, parents and teacher meetings, school activities and many more. This week as I was digging deeper into Google Calendar, I realized that there are even more we can do with it in my school.

Among the new things that I learned about is, the use of calendar to make lesson plans. This is so useful especially when a teacher is absent, the sub can jump right in and follow the lesson plan with ease. Also excellent for keeping records. I am encouraging the teachers in my school to create this type of calendar and make more use of it.

Another exciting new knowledge about calendar is using it as appointment slots. We use pick-a-time to schedule appointments but Google calendar can also do the same. The only down side is that you have to have a Google account in order to book appointment so we might only use it among our students who already have school Google account and continue with pick-a-time for parents.

I took my Google Calendar test and passed. Tough but very rewarding.

Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Progress on Google Site

These last two weeks has been all about Google Sites. I totally immersed myself in studying the various features and uses of Google Sites. Read through all the basics and advanced lessons at the Google for Education training center and actually set up a personal site. I also took the Google Site test and passed.

One big lesson learned these past two weeks of training myself on sites is that "practice makes perfect". I found that the more I play with the site advanced features, adding each one of them to my site and practicing how to use them, the more I master them and get more confident in using them. I am sure that there are still more to learn and am excited to keep updating my knowledge on sites. Here are some of the features that most excite me:

  • Embedding media, calendar, maps and inserting videos in sites.
  • Using all the different page types ( web, announcements, file cabinet and list )
  • Managing the sidebar and horizontal navigation menu.
  • Creating the page-level permissions in my site.
  • Linking my site and my blog journal.
  • Knowing that I can make copies of the site I create using my school domain.
I am looking forward to helping the teachers that I work with, create their own sites. Am sure like myself, they will be excited to learn how easy it is to set up a Google site and use it in making a more engaging classroom for the students.

Next week I will go into Google Calendar. We use calendar a lot at school to schedule different events and I am going to dig dipper into the various ways calendar can be used even more effectively.

Stay tuned!!!




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Final Presentation Progress

In preparing my final project, I have decided to use Google Site to document my learning. Blogger and Google Site both offer valuable tools for keeping record of learning progress and ePortfolio, but Google Site will give me more convenience and variety of options in showing evidence of my work.

Project Goals

I have set the followings goals for myself as I work towards my final project, and hope to achieve them by the end of this course:

1. Become a Google Certified Educator.  To achieve this goal, I will review the lessons available at the Google for Education Preparation Courses and take all the required exams. The success of this goal can be measured by the result of these exams and the Certification by Google.

2. Organize training materials that will help in educating the teachers that I work with about Online Collaboration. To achieve this goal, I will arrange and document my learning on Google tools. The success of this goal can be measured by the availability of adequate resources that teachers can access and use in making a more engaging classroom. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Try try try again!!!

I started working towards getting my Google Educator Certification. Took the drive test and flunked it, getting 78% while the pass mark is 80%. I tried again and passed with 85%. 

Today I went ahead with Google Sites exam and nailed it at 88%. This is getting really nice.


I guess there is truth in the saying that "if at first you don't succeed, try try try again". 


It seems that I will cruise through the rest of them. Fingers still crossed!!!





Google Sites and Blogs

Google Sites and Blogs are increasing becoming similar depending on how they are set up. Sites can be formatted to look like a blog and blogs can also be formatted like a site. This blog is a good example of how a blog can look like a website.


Students can use both to share learning materials and updates about class activities to the community. But for the followings tasks I would prefer the use of Sites:

  • Digital Portfolios showcasing personal learning
  • Group projects where students create their own pages and share it with others
  • Class announcements 

Blogs would be better on the following tasks:

  • Encourage peer critique by allowing students to post comments and feedback on each others blog.
  • To cover a wide variety of articles.
  • Keep parents updated about their kids learning


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Final Project Ideas

Now I am seriously considering pursuing the Google Certification as my final project. If I am going to be effective in supporting the teachers and students towards integrating technology into the classroom, then I should educate myself first and become comfortable with what I will be assisting them in doing. Google Apps offer so many user friendly educational tools for schools. This certification will obviously increase my knowledge and skills in the area of educational technology.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bio

This is Emmanuel, grew up in Nigeria and now live and work in Vermont. A tale of two worlds. 
I am learning all about the tools offered by Google and how these tools can be used in advancing critical thinking and acquiring knowledge.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Online Collaboration!!!

It is fascinating for me to learn and share the many exciting things we can do with technology. Such as Online collaboration with one another in real time, regardless of our geographical locations.

I have seen first-hand how the internet can turn the world into a "global village". Below are some of the impressive topics I have learnt so far: