Sorry if you cannot interpret the wordplay of my title. In the Hispanic culture one common interjection is the ever-quoted, “gooooooooool!” The broadcasters are usually shouting in excitement when the favored soccer team scores. Even in the regular season soccer games are revered with as much fervor and good-natured rivalry as in the playoffs for the World Cup. The tie-in here (no pun intended) is that after taking a more in-depth look at the Google suite of apps and tools I feel they’ve created a brand that will be uncontested for a long time to come.
The synchronization offered not only between its own native applications but also across devices is a major draw from the average consumer to the well-rounded businessman. Google’s Gmail is the most popular email client on the market, only recently being rivaled by Microsoft’s Outlook. The personal customization and ties to Google Tasks and Google Calendar make it easy to commit as to avoid checking multiple sources for one’s daily to-dos. Aside from the quotidian uses of mail and calendar Google offers something much more for educators, specifically, which can be found on its Google for Educators page. It was on this page that I was suddenly struck with a sense of urgency; an additional purpose to this path on which I’m seeking to expand my proficiency with technology and applications as a fundamental resource for our day-to-day.
What drew me in and piqued my interest was the idea of becoming a Google educator. At first glance it sounded like any other quick watch-this-webinar certification that I would’ve quickly passed by. I’m glad I took the time to read further because — man! — there are some serious qualifications involved to even become a considered candidate. There is an exam involved that can only be passed after either extensive use and experience in the Google suite (and studying helps, too) along with a video submission utilizing technology in a way that proves initiative and motivation are evident and will propel education in the right direction. There was actually a webinar I was planning on attending that was led by someone being touted as a Google Educator. In any other circumstance that wouldn’t have made me bat an eye, but now that I know it’s a prestigious select few with that title I find myself suddenly interested in what this guy has to say.
Seven years ago when I started my position at my school I toyed with the idea of using Google Earth in one of my lessons. Wouldn’t it be cool if they could see the Alhambra? Well, it got only as far as that thought but now that I’ve become more astute with my technological tinkerings it seems now is no better time to mobilize that idea again. I could literally go on an on about the Google suite (strike me down, too, as I’m an avid Apple user), but let me get my feet soaked – instead of just wet – with these new toys so I can really give you the lay of the land.