Saturday, January 2, 2016

Getting Certified- Google Certification Level 1

My friends in my wilder youth sometimes told me I was crazy, yes downright certifiable! Now I have a badge to prove it!

I took and passed Google Level 1 Certification. The test comes in two parts. There are 20 multiple choice questions followed by 15 scenarios, each of which is broken down into 2-6 steps. I found the multiple choice questions tricky. For instance, one question asked what aesthetic additions could one make to google slides and asked the test taker to check two of the five possible answers. If I recall, my choices were:

  1. insert a google form
  2. insert a youtube video
  3. change transitions
  4. add sound effects
  5. change the background colors.
One would think the first two answers are the obvious ways to spice up a presentation. However, I was hung up on the word "aesthetic" and changed my answers several times. Is YouTube an aesthetic choice? Why such wording? Google only tells you if you passed the test, so I still don't know if I got the answer right or not. This happened to me a couple of times in the 20 question multiple choice segment.

I really like the scenarios. They test if you can use the tools. The questions aren't about the tools, one simply has to show mastery in using GAFE (Google Apps for Education) and show how a teacher would use it to enrich teaching.

Of course, it got me thinking about the tests we ask kids to take. Do we ask them to remember facts or do we ask them to demonstrate skills? As a test taker, I certainly appreciated being asked to show what I can do instead of trying to parse the meaning of multiple choice questions.

In case you're interested in going for the certification, here's a few more things you need to know:
  1. It may take a day between registering for the test and having the test arrive (via an email prompt)
  2. It costs $10
  3. Upon receiving the test, you'll have a week to actually take the test.
  4. You'll be on camera the whole time. Make sure your device has a camera. 
  5. You'll have three hours to complete the test. Once you start, you're on the clock. One can't pause it and come back later to finish.
It took me almost the full three hours to take the test. I finished with 11 minutes remaining. I got bogged down in one of the scenarios which was about making citations in google. I know how to do it, it really was a simple question, but I first used google's research tool to make the citation, afterwards I realized it was asking me to use the insert footnote feature. Anyhow, I couldn't delete the citation. So, eventually I went into revision history and started all over. This one scenario likely took 15 minutes to complete. 

The test lets you check your answers when finished. I checked about half of my answers, but with 4 minutes left I was fried enough to just submit the test.

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