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Google Educator Certification

Google Educator Certification

Starting around the end of June, Google reorganized their “Google Educator Certification” Program.  Prior to the change, individuals who sought to be “Certified” had to take various tests within a certain amount of time (beginning to end) and it cost around $99.  With the growing demand for teachers to be proficient in using the Google Apps for Education in their classroom, Google simplified the “certification” program for teachers.

Current Design:

The new training/certification program is broken up into various different levels based upon the purpose of the certification.  They are as follows:
Google Educator Level 1 Certification: Proficient
Google Educator Level 2 Certification: Advanced
Google for Education Certified Trainer: Previously known as “Google Educator Certification”
Google for Education Certified Innovator: Brand New

(I’m not sure that you must pass Level 1 Prior to passing Level 2)

Google Educator Level 1 Certification Process

After attending the Google Summit in Kansas City, I developed the urge to become “Google Educator Level 1” certified.  I was surprised at what well designed program Google had developed in order to help individuals become certified.

Level 1 Training Module

Step 1:  Begin taking the Level 1 training module

Option to move from each subunit

After you sign-in on the training module page, you can begin to work through the various different units that Google (with the help of Google Certified Trainers and Innovators) designed to help you better use Google Apps in your classroom.  While it is setup in the traditional unit format (Ex. Unit 1, Unit 2, etc.), you are able to jump around from different units.  Within each unit, there are 3-5 subunits full of tutorial videos, links, articles, etc.  Along the side are links that let you know which subunit you are in, as well as the other options within the Unit of study.


At the end of each subunit in the training module, Google provides a “Lesson Check” that includes topics discussed throughout the subunit content.  This lesson check includes multiple choice, matching, checkbox, etc. with the option to “Check Answer.”  Their goal obviously is to help you learn the answer (as these are not scored) not just prove that you do not know the answer.  Then at the end of each unit is a “Unit Review” with various types of questions.  Most of the questions are based upon “Real-Life” Applications, such as: “Teacher A wants to do a interactive lesson on Lewis & Clark’s Expedition.  What are a couple tools Teacher A could use to help students better identify the route taken and the problems they faced?”

Lesson Check

Tip:  I would skip all the videos and go straight to the “Lesson Check” and “Unit Review” in order to figure out the topic and lesson of the Unit.  Then I would check my answers.  If I got them wrong, I would go back in the subunit in order to better learn that portion.  If I couldn’t find the answer clearly, then I would Google specific tool and what I needed it to do.  Many times it took far less time to do the Lessons than Google estimated it would take.

Then you would check the answers that you felt best applied to the situation.  On the “Lesson Check,” it would inform you of when you got it wrong and provide you the correct answer.  

Unit Review

On the “Unit Review” however, it only informs you of the number correct.  Therefore you have to work harder to know which questions you got wrong and why you got them wrong.  Sadly, the one problem I faced on the Unit Review was the Fill-In-The-Blank style question.  It would count it wrong even if you forgot something as simple as an “s” and because it won’t tell you which ones are wrong/right (in terms of question) then you can be left frustrated.

Tip:  On the “Select all that apply” or the equivalent, select them all and it will let you know which ones are incorrect.  Also work one question at a time in order to better determine any wrong questions.

Taking the Exam

To take the exam, you will need to register via the following link: Register for Exam

The Level 1 Certification test costs $10 and will be emailed to you within 24 hours of you registering for the test.  The test itself must be taken within 7 days of receiving the email.  Once you receive the exam via email, you will log in with the username and password that they provide.  It will then inform you that you need to have a camera on your computer in order to demonstrate that you are indeed the individual taking the exam from beginning to end (they mention that they take pictures periodically to verify that you are the same person throughout).  You are given a 3 hour window to finish the exam once started.

Tip:  When taking the picture at the beginning of the test, wear a presentable shirt in case they apply it to your certification.

The test itself is split into two Stages.  

Stage 1 is made up of multiple choice, matching type, fill in the blank, etc. (Think traditional test).  In this section of the test, you are allowed to flag each question in order to go back and double check your answer later on if desired.  

This is the badge for passing the exam.  It will be sent
via email after passing the exam.

Stage 2 is a practical uses test.  Basically they create a fake school domain (filled with fake users) with 11 scenarios.  Each scenario has anywhere from 2-7 objectives that must be completed.  These objectives can be anything from creating a document, to sharing it, creating a youtube playlist, etc.

Tip:  Use a 2nd computer to help you work through any of the problems on your certification exam.  Google does not care if you have all the processes memorized.  They just want you to be able to come up with solutions (including using Google Search).

Tip #2:  On the Calendar portion of the test, you are able to see other individuals who have taken the exam prior.  Their events will be displayed (as they are on the same domain obviously).  So if you are not sure if you have done it right, double check with their calendar event.

After finishing the 2 Stages (within the total 3 hour limit), you will receive your pass/fail decision within minutes.  

Level 2 Certification

This is the badge for passing the exam.  It will be sent 
via email after passing the exam.

When/If you decide to do the level 2 certification, you will find that the process is virtually the same as Level 1.  The only difference is that the content of using Google Apps is slightly more difficult (Ex. Using Add-ons, adjusting Youtube videos, etc.).  The only other difference is the format of the test.  It is still a 2 Stage Test, but the number of questions/scenarios is slightly higher:  Stage 1 – 25 Multiple Choice/Matching; Stage 2 – 12 Scenarios with 1-5 objectives per scenario.


Hopefully this information is helpful at how the process works!


Austin Houp is the husband to Amanda, and father to Eli and Ezra.  He currently is the Director of Curriculum and Technology at the Ash Grove School District. He is also a Google Certified Innovator (#COL16) and Google Certified Trainer. Connect with him via Twitter: @Coachhoup24 and Google+: +AustinHoup!

3 thoughts on “Google Educator Certification

  1. Thanks Austin!
    I took the level I test when it first came out at the end of June. It was 2 hours and I didn't get it done.
    Google later apologized and gave me a voucher to re-take. With 3 hours plus your useful tips, I'll give it another try.


  2. re: your exam tip to use a second computer during the test…do the instructions for the exam specifically address this as an option? I've heard different takes on this, but have yet to get a definitive answer.

    Great summary. Thanks.


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