Becoming a Google Certified Administrator

We focus a lot at AppsEvents on helping people become ‘Google Certified Educators’ but there is another important Google Certification that we are getting more involved with in 2017… the ‘Google Certified Administrator’.

So what is this certification and why should you look at getting it?

Firstly the ‘what’: The exam covers all the behind the scenes tasks on G Suite such as creating users and setting security settings. The full list of topics covered is:
  • User and organisational unit management
  • Customising apps and services configuration
  • Configuring mail delivery and routing
  • Designing for security
  • Chrome management and deployment best practices
The exam itself is a three hour practical test on a live G suite system where you actually perform live admin tasks and are monitored via webcam during the exam. Google recommends up to 6 months experience as an admin to pass the exam but we have had many people take our two day admin bootcamp (info below) with no experience and passed the exam first time, so it’s nothing to be feared.

So who should take this? Well firstly it’s important to say this exam is the same for both Business and Education users and is not specifically Educator focused. Of course it’s suitable for any tech staff, but also increasing numbers of teachers and other staff are taking the certification. We talked about this in a blog post on the ‘democratization of IT’ two years ago and the trend we spotted has only continued. The great thing about G Suite admin is its granularity, so you can give staff access as an admin for certain groups and certain tasks, so it’s easy to involve more people to help the system run more smoothly. Especially in small companies and schools it’s often important to get as many staff as possible helping with admin.

All the info you need can be found at this link and if you would like to join a two day bootcamp to take you through the material we’d love you to join us at an AppsEvents Admin bootcamp. We have dates across Europe, Asia and the US and more info you can find at Don’t see a date you like? Fill in the form on the site and we can potentially host one with you.
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Let's take a good look at the Acer Chromebook Spin 11

In this episode of The S Suite Show, Google's Education Program Manager Drea Alphonso walks you through the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, which has a stylus shaped like a No. 2 pencil, world-facing camera, and USB-C outlet for super fast charging in classroom carts.

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Chromebook Apps to Inspire Creativity

With the recent announcement of the new generation Chromebooks with stylus support, world-facing camera, and Android apps, we thought we’d compile a list of tools that helps inspire collaboration and creativity in the classroom so you can make the most of these new devices.

Toontastic 3D

Launched early this year, Toontastic 3D is a very powerful at the same time fun tool that enables students to transform their imaginations into an animated movie! The app has a very intuitive UI and a video-game like environment.

For digital storytelling, users pick from three Story Arcs (Short Story, Classic, & Science Report). The app gives prompts on how to construct a story and has a media library full of characters and settings that will surely excite a child’s inner creator. It also lets you create your own 3D drawings, record your own voice, add yourself with photos, customize the colors of the built-in characters, and choose from dozens of songs to come up with your movie soundtrack. Get the app here >>
Soundtrap for Education

Soundtrap offers a lot of options to help you create music online. You can either connect your own instrument, record sounds directly through your device’s microphone, or use the software instruments and loops built within the software! Here’s a really great article on how one teacher is revolutionizing music education in his school using this tool. If you can’t wait to get started, you can sign up for Soundtrap here >>.

Adobe Photoshop Mix

Photoshop Mix brings some of the powerful photo editing features to your Chromebook or Android device. With the app, you can easily perform tasks such as:
  • Cut out and remove sections of your images or merge multiple photos. 
  • Seamlessly combine photos together to create fun or surreal images. 
  • Adjust colors and contrast or apply preset FX Looks (filters) to your pictures. Enhance the entire image, or just a portion with the touch of your finger. 
  • Non-destructive editing means your original pics stay pristine and untouched. 
  • Quickly and easily share your creations on social media. 
Install Photoshop Mix from this link >>.

BONUS Tip: Quick Draw

If you are looking for a simple and engaging way to introduce concepts like neural networks and artificial intelligence in your class or you just want a quick ice breaker, consider this AI browser experiment from Google. Quick Draw is a game built with machine learning. You draw and it tries to guess what you are drawing. It’s really fun!
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Who are AppsEvents and what makes us Unique?

AppsEvents has one clear goal: To produce amazing Google PD for Educators, to give them the tools and the inspiration to take their work to the next level....and to do it time and time again on every training engagement. We know we are only as good our last training event.

AppsEvents is a unique organization with a tight focus on the intersection of these areas:
  1. Google for Education: We work exclusively on training Google for Education tools and their leading edge applications in schools and in the classroom.
  2. Working with schools and Educators: We don’t train businesses. Our focus is 100% educators working at schools.
  3. Only PD: We’re not a consulting focused organization and we don’t resell products and services. We believe the best investment schools can make is quality PD to give them the tools to take things forward themselves.
  4. Educator trainers: We work exclusively with trainers that are actively engaged within the education community, from Principals to IT heads, Tech Coaches to Teachers. All of our leadership team are currently involved in education; Either in teaching at schools or as GEG leaders and co-leaders and training directly for Google.

Our leadership team is distributed worldwide which gives us a unique international focus to bring the best elements of teaching we can find; not just from the US and from the UK but from multiple top-ranked education systems such as Finland and Singapore and from the best IB Schools worldwide. We have local teams located in Asia, US, UK, Europe and the Middle East.

All our summits have a strong mix of trainers; primarily local/regional Google experts with international trainers to give fresh perspectives. We don’t work with every trainer and our extended team we believe are the best Google Educators out there.

Curriculum development is a central part of AppsEvents and our global team collaborates to produce the most up to date Google for Education releases. For example our core ‘Google Educator Level 1 Certification Bootcamp’ currently has over 500 hours of development time on it, and still we revise it after every single event. We plan our curriculum centrally so you get a unified experience taking our training anywhere in the world.

We work on a 360 degree approach to empower schools, training all job roles: Educators, Leadership, Support and Tech staff and we work to make sure the effect of our PD is lasting in the school.

A unique thing about all our summits is the extreme focus on networking and building the Google Education Community. We always have a fun networking party for all attendees with free drinks after the close of day 1 to help people build lasting connections. We are proud to have given many educators their first opportunity to present at a summits, and several of these we have helped develop to give their first keynote. We are always expanding our team with amazing educators who are passionate about Google tools.

We are Google community-centric and work closely together with many of the top Google for Education partners worldwide.

AppsEvents is a focussed team of experts producing boutique high level events every time we set foot in the classroom. We look forward to working with you. For more information about hosting an event at your school please click here
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Digital Citizenship in Schools

Digital citizenship is becoming more and more integrated into school curriculums. As educators are becoming more familiar with technology and social media and how it impacts learners, we are seeing some really great programs being developed by ISTE, Google, Common Sense Media, ASCD and many more!

If citizenship was the rationale for the founding of schools, digital citizenship can be seen as the evolution of this, and can broadly be defined by appropriate and responsible use of technology. ISTE and Common Sense Media have broken up digital citizenship into strands and topics:

Common Sense Media
Digital access
Internet Safety
Digital etiquette
Privacy & Security
Digital law
Relationships & Communication
Digital communication
Cyberbullying & Digital Drama
Digital literacy
Digital Footprint & Reputation
Digital commerce
Self-Image & Identity
Digital rights and responsibilities
Information Literacy
Digital safety and security
Creative Credit & Copyright
Digital health and wellness

Recent news events have further emphasized the need for digital literacy, identifying ‘fake news’ is an essential skill in an ever more connected world.

So where are schools at?

Nearly all schools are now implementing some form of DC curriculum. Some schools have it embedded into curriculum whilst other schools are just beginning to explore the opportunities. With massive growth in 1:1 devices in schools (Chromebooks, iPads, laptops, smartphones) there is a need for a continuous discussion around digital citizenship.

A growing number of schools are hosting programs designed for students, educators and parents. Through parent sessions the message of digital citizenship is reinforced and further shared with learners. Some schools are working with governments organisations, industry and NGOs to create innovative programs to promote DC - some even have students work on creating e-commerce startups as a culminating project!

Where to start?

A great way for a school to begin is by having a Digital Citizenship Week. A number of lessons during this week are themed around DC, and excellent resource to share with educators is Common Sense Media’s curriculum. With lessons designed as pdf’s, for Nearpod and iBooks, all grades are covered K-12. Teachers can use the prepared lessons or customize them to localize them for different countries/cultures.

Given the breadth of DC content, it’s really rewarding to explore from a professional growth perspective. And therein lies the relevance to Google’s very own certifications - Google Certified Educator Levels 1&2. Throughout the review material there are references to security and privacy. Level 1 features the following topics:
  • How to protect yourself with good, strong passwords 
  • How to recognize hoaxes 
  • What makes up your digital footprint 
  • How to manage your online identity 
  • The importance of privacy settings 
  • How to build resilience to be able to handle challenges 

Gaining recognition

To gain recognition for digital citizenship efforts within schools, Common Sense Media offers its own Digital Citizenship Certified Educator and Digital Citizenship Certified School. Following a successful implementation of digital citizenship curriculum educators are able to apply to this program and receive recognition in terms of digital badges and posters that can be displayed.

A world of resources

The following is a short list of relevant resources (and there are loads more great resources out there - please share more in the comments):

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for K-12: Common Sense’s collection of resources including ready-made lesson plans - great place to start

ISTE - Essential Elements of Digital Citizenship - ISTE’s elements are driven from the ISTE standards requirements for digital citizenship, focussing on the safe, legal and ethical use of technology.

Digizen - a website that can be shared with educators and learners alike, lots of games, videos and resources covering social media through to cyberbullying.

Growing Up Digital - report from Children's Commissioner for England published Jan 2017, further highlighting the rationale for digital citizenship education in schools

Screenagers - movie diving into the impacts of a digital age on children
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