Thoughts on Being a Google Certified Teacher (GCT)

I was recently sent a survey that prompted me to think about what the GCT program has meant to me and what it means to still be a GCT after having attended the Google Teacher Academy in Seattle WA back in 2011. I thought I would share the comments I submitted with the world (because that’s what blogs are for, right!). You will see from my comments that I have some concerns about where Google may be planning to take the GCT program in the future.

The best thing about the GCT community to me was and continues to be the organic nature of the collaboration and evangelism. Trying to box that in, or assign requirements or metrics to being a GCT may be counter productive. The GET program already has that. In my experience GCTs use Google Apps and advocate for it because it works and instructionally it’s the best collaboration platform out there. What GCTs need is advanced heads up on UI changes, a direct line for feedback to developers and more support in the area of data privacy and protection when dealing with IT departments and community members.

GCT to me has been great because it is a low key type of advocacy without a ton of demands on my time. GCTs for the most part are all full time something else’s, and loading requirements on folks for a label or badge, which is what other edtech evangelist programs tend to do, would make it much less appealing to me.

Honestly, the GCT community has existed and thrived without much help from Google and I hope whatever changes come down the line don’t get in the way of that grass roots spirit of collaboration.

Suffice it to say, I hope whatever changes are coming are not the beginning of the plusification of the GCT community or an attempt to qualify, quantify and metricise our collaboration and advocacy. I continue to support and assist districts that are going google because I believe in the product and the platform’s potential to positively impact teaching and learning. Not because I have a badge that labels me as a GCT. I’m guessing most of my colleagues have a similar feeling.

All good things must come to an end. In this case, I hope the end is very far away.