One of the most important tools we have in the modern classroom is a digital one. We use laptops and tablets for communication, creation, assessment and probably most importantly, learning. And it’s no wonder that for teachers, one of the important parts of our roles as educators is to know how to use them.
But to be ‘digitally literate’ in the classroom is more than knowing how to push buttons; a modern teacher’s digital literacy depends on their understanding of when and why you would use a digital tool in the learning context.Being a ‘digitally literate teacher’ is knowing more than where and what buttons to press. We need to know when and why! Click To Tweet
And this is exactly why many companies, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have programmes of teacher certification specifically designed for educators. They have the ‘Apple Teacher,’ the ‘Google Certified Educator’ and ‘Microsoft Educator Community’ programmes available for teachers. Click on the previous links if you’d like to explore more information about their programmes.5 reasons why every educator should become digitally certified. Click To Tweet
Here are six reasons why every educator should become certified with the digital tools they are using in the classroom.
1. You gain credibility
Every certification we gain says something about our skills and abilities. With all of these certifications, there is a proficiency level you have to prove and pass. To be able to show parents, principals and your community that you have these certifications says something about your skill set and preparedness to teach students in a modern world with modern tools.
2.You will fill in gaps in digital literacy that you didn’t even know you had
It’s amazing how many teachers we work with who have been using these tools for years comment, “I didn’t even know that was there!” There’s always that one button we have always overlooked, that feature that, when made aware it , can open up a whole new learning flow or allow us time and be more efficient. The courses to gain your certifications give you the opportunity to discover these features; and who doesn’t love learning new things!
3.You’ll build your confidence to use and explore the potential for the tools you have
When we discover new features and tools, then work to complete a qualification, it does wonders for your confidence with those tools. One of our aims as a training company is to help people gain both competence AND confidence. I’ve seen teachers with very little belief in their ability to use digital tools just grow ‘an arm and a leg’ after they have achieved a certification. Confidence is everything since it all comes down to attitude. Increased confidence leads to a better attitude!
4.You’ll become an asset to your school and colleagues
I’m often encouraging schools to have at least a few teachers gain their certification with Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Adobe. I know of a number of schools that actually have that as a requirement of teaching there! As soon as you have a level of skills with a tool you will inevitably become the ‘go to’ person to help with further staff training, advice or problem-solving. It’s a great place to be in, as a certified teacher and can even help with future employment prospects.
5.It’s a professional expectation to have a level of efficacy to use your tools
It staggers me that we spend thousands of dollars on equipment in our schools yet often neglect to invest in training to go with that purchase. We often hear our colleagues complaining about the lack of community respect for our profession, yet can you imagine having surgery with a doctor who wasn’t completely sure about using the equipment he was using? Or a forklift driver being unlicensed? I understand it’s not exactly the same but in my to my mind, certification will only help improve our community standing as a profession.
6.It shows your dedication and desire to keep learning
One of the buzz words we hear in our schools is the need to encourage our students to become ‘life-long learners.’ What better way to model this than by gaining our own certification, especially when it’s voluntary.
I recently had a teacher sitting the exam we sit at the end of our Google Certified Level 2 Bootcamp. She told me about her experience of sitting the Level 1 exam. I asked if she passed it and she replied, “No. But it was great coz I got to return to my class and tell them about how I had failed the exam but was going to try again and work hard to pass it. I reset the exam on the weekend a few weeks later and passed! They saw me practising what I’ve been preaching all year!”
If you’re interested in working towards your own certifications, use the links above to get started today! You can also attend some face to face courses hat we are running at locations near you. We run Google Certified Educator Courses for Level 1 and 2, as well as Apple Teacher Bootcamps towards being Apple Teachers for iPad and MacBook. We also have a range of online course that you can take, at a time and a pace that suits you. Click here to find the course that would suit you.
You can have a look here at our Upcoming Events website page for dates coming up near you. If you’re interested in hosting any of these events at your school we’d love to hear from you – just email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org.