EdTech Interview: Google Certified Trainer

By Monica Burns 11.08.2015 blog
Credit: Bigstock/Goodluz

As schools explore the best way to introduce their students to digital tools, teachers work to become proficient in using these tools in the classroom — sometimes through some excellent certification courses. Chrissy Romano-Arrabito is a Google Certified Trainer and teacher at a middle school in New Jersey. She shared her experience using technology with students below.

What type of technology do you use in your classroom?

I use a variety of technology with Google Apps for Education used on a regular basis. All students have access to Chromebooks on a daily basis; however, I maintain that a blended classroom is the best environment for all students to learn and thrive. My students still read traditional books/texts while their responses and assessments will utilize technology such as Google Forms, Kahoot and Pear Deck to name a few.

How has technology changed the way you teach?

Technology has definitely changed the way I teach in the last two to three years. Since becoming a Google for Education Certified Trainer and active on Twitter, I have learned that technology is an awesome tool that should be used in a meaningful way in order for students to be successful. Technology should not be used just for the sake of saying that we are using technology. My kids still do things with a pencil and paper if that is still the best and most effective way to get it done.

Technology has also helped me work smarter and not harder. Google Forms and Flubaroo has cut down on the time it used to take to score and evaluate 100+ quizzes/assessments. Now in only a matter of seconds I can have them graded so I can spend my time in a more useful way such as working with students during lunch or using my preparation period to plan engaging lessons or working with my colleagues to help them integrate tech into their lessons.

What does it mean to be a Google Certified Trainer?

To be a Google for Education Certified Trainer means that I am a part of an elite group of educators who value technology and what it means to be passionate about teaching. This network of top-notch educators has provided me with opportunities I would not have had if not for being a part of the GoogleEdu community. Lesson Plan Jams at the NYC Google offices, bringing my students to Google to teach them in their 21st century classroom, and having access to a network of resources that others are not privy to.

What advice would you give to teachers looking to integrate technology into their instruction?

I just had this conversation with a teacher this morning who is afraid of technology and really unsure of how it fits with his current teaching methods. My advice is this: 1) Start frequenting local EdCamps. They are free professional development opportunities that will provide you will engaging, interesting sessions where you can learn in a friendly, non-threatening environment about new ways to implement tech into your lessons. 2) Once you start learning about educational technology pick one thing and give it a try.  Don’t go crazy trying to put everything you learn into action.  Not every type of tech works in all subjects or situations. 3) Join Twitter and frequent Twitter chats about the subjects and interests in education that you want to learn more about.  This social network is one of the best ways that I have found to learn about current trends or new ways to use technology.

Follow Chrissy on Twitter and check out the Google Teacher Academy’s website to learn more.

Micha Klootwijk/Bigstock

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