I am a Science Teacher, How will the Google Certified Educator Program help me?

Adoption of technology in the field of education has been happening since decades, but Caronovirus has accelerated the pace. Today, even small towns and teachers are thinking about integrating technology with education. This adoption will not stop even after Covid-19 is over since the NEP has given a high weightage to adoption of technology in teaching in order to build 21st Century skills among teachers and students.
“I came across this Google Certified Educator course conducted by Tech for Educators through one of my colleagues. I wanted to learn more about how to use the tools in my science subject which are available and are really of utmost importance during the pandemic. The world is going through a crisis and we all need to upgrade ourselves in order to survive. It was really important for me to learn new things.” Says, Ms. Mahak Khan, a Science teacher at Shri Harshad C Valia International School, Mumbai. She had to switch to online teaching due to the sudden lockdown in the country due to the Coronavirus. She had to start teaching Science online, overnight and was not very well equipped with technology. She knew the basics but wanted to learn more about the different online educational tools that were available in order to make her teaching more effective. 
This course has not only introduced Ms. Mahak Khan to the diverse educational tools that are available but has also introduced her to teachers from all over India and she has learnt so much over the course of five weeks. In her own words she says and I quote, “I hope many teachers take up this course as it will surely help them a lot.” Through this program she has made her own Science classroom online. She uses Google Classroom, Google Calendar, Science Journal and Spreadsheets for attendance!  Many Science teachers across the globe are now using online modes of teaching. Here are some important tools that this program will teach you and help you as a Science teacher to make your classroom more engaging virtually.

Google Classroom

The ‘Google Classroom’ as an educational tool is very powerful when it comes to sharing study materials and resources like videos, slides, links, PDFs and much more content which may not be available in the textbooks. Apart from being a storehouse of information, the teacher can also use the classroom to develop critical thinking among the students. For example; by giving them an assignment to research how Climate Change has an Impact on Human Life. Not to forget you can set deadlines for the submission of the assignment and grade your students as well. Your classroom is a one stop point for all your resources and it has never been more organized. 

Let’s get Quizzical

We all love playing a good quiz, especially when we have our classmates to compete with. Through ‘Google Forms’, you will learn how to create fun and interesting quizzes for your students. Whether it is in the form of MCQ’s, Short Answer questions, Checkboxes and much more. You will also learn how to customise your individual quiz to make it more appealing and to suit the theme of the chapter. One of the best features of Google Forms is the ability to include the correct answer (answer feedback) and assign points to each question as well. Once your quiz is ready, you can assign it to your students for a limited period of time after which their scores will be automatically calculated. Isn’t it amazing?

Science Journal with Google

This is a pocket size Science Laboratory which enables students to conduct experiments daily and record observations over a range of topics like sound, light and motion. This educational tool also provides an effective and hands on learning experience thereby providing holistic learning to the student. Let’s not forget that it is cost effective and can be used anytime, anywhere by anyone. Your students will take a keen interest in performing such experiments and will love Science class. 

Q & A Forums

By becoming a Google Certified Educator you will be exposed to and taught a variety of online educational tools. One such tool is ‘Google Groups’. Using this tool you can host discussions, debates and Q & A forums thus building a scientific community and critical thinking leaders with your students and other collaborators. Not to forget this group is totally secure and the privacy settings are in your control. 

Visual Learning at its Best

Each child’s learning preference is very different from the other and therefore it is up to us as Educators to enhance and make sure that each child understands what is being taught. The best way to make sure that this happens is by using different mediums of content delivery. Through this certified program, you will be taught how to use ‘YouTube’ as an effective educational tool which can be very powerful to solidify concepts for visual and auditory learners. You will also learn how to create, filter and share video playlists on particular concepts with your students. 

Build your own Science Website

Do you have a lot of innovations and science hacks but no platform to display it? Showcase your talent by building your very own science website!  This website can help students understand difficult topics, prepare for exams, and ultimately serve parents and teachers as a virtual teacher’s aid. You can link videos, experiments, and images to your website. Awards won from several science competitions can also be displayed on the website.

Research & Development

Conducting a research but finding it hard to collaborate with your colleagues?  You will learn how to use, share and collaborate with others by working on one single document. You will also be taught how to use citations and avoid plagiarism thereby becoming a good net citizen and setting an example for your students. With the help of the ‘version history’ feature, you can see the changes made to the document in real time which is an added benefit.    You will also be taught how ‘Google Forms’ can be used as questionnaires to conduct surveys and data for your research all while being easy, quick, economical and paperless thereby being environment friendly.

Booking of Viva Time Slots

Through this certified program you will be taught with the help of ‘Google Calendar’, to create events such as Viva and specific time slots for your students along with mentioning the venue of the exam. In this way you can avoid confusion and save time. You will also learn how to set reminders and notifications which will be sent to your students before the event takes place.

Your Plan/Your Planet

Have a science chapter to teach on Climate Change or Pollution? With the increasing climate temperatures and global warming, you as a Science teacher can and must encourage your students to play an active role in protecting our world. By becoming a Google Certified Educator you can now have paperless classrooms at the click of a button. Another important tool that you will learn through this program is called, ‘Your Plan / Your Planet’ where students can learn about reducing their carbon footprint. Thus implementing what they learn into their daily life. 

Google Earth

Using Google Earth and Maps in classrooms can help visualize abstract concepts. For example while talking about ‘Natural Disasters’ you can show students how volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis take place and how certain places are inclined to be hit by disaster due to their geographical topography. You can also use Google Earth to have a virtual field trip to a botanical garden or to an evergreen forest to learn about the different plant and animal species. In this way you can move beyond the walls of the classroom thus making learning more effective. In this way on being a Google Certified Educator and a Science teacher you will add value to your teaching-learning process.This program will equip you with all the knowledge and resources that you will need. It will also help you to develop professionally and distinguish you from amongst your work colleagues and encourage your students to become active learners and critical thinkers in the 21st Century. As we progress towards a new day and age we too as Educators need to upgrade ourselves to suit our environment. As Charles Darwin’s Theory suggests – Survival of the Fittest.

Author: This article is written by Elrica Menezes for Tech for Educators blog. She is a Google Certified Educator and teaches at Jamnabai Narsee International School, Mumbai.

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