11 July 2012

Google Power Search

The first of my (brief) summer holiday PL commenced today, two days before the end of term. The transition between my school in Malaysia and my new school in Singapore has not fallen in my favour in terms of holidays, and my year long anticipatory list of things to do, try and learn has been sacrificed somewhat. However, I cannot waste the precious two weeks I do have and so, every new course I found that appeared to be of potential benefit, I signed up for.

Google Power Search was passed to me, as many PL ideas are, by my colleague Abena. It started out today with an introduction to how Google Search works - cool little animation about how their 'spiders' search out what we need for us, the myriad decisions they make and refinements they crosscheck - in the blink of any eye. Or quicker! It reviewed search parameters, the importance of keyword choices, word order and even how to hone the search when on a webpage. I am hoping the knowledge I gain from this course will be of benefit to my IB DP EE candidates in particular, and I would like to design a little course for them along a similar vein to aid in their Internet research.

The next lesson releases tomorrow. There are one and a half days left until the end of the year at NISP;  there are ten days until the packers arrive and eighteen days until I start my new job at NISS. In between I have Google Power Search, Google Apps for Educators and PBLU courses to complete. Oh, and six days in Thailand :)

7 July 2012

Google Apps for Education: Test

Last week I read through all the training documents for the Google Apps for Education Certified Teacher course. I am not one for assimilating what I read without 'doing', so I am glad I have a few months experience of using most of the Apps already or most of what I read would not have made sense.

This morning I took the first exam - I chose 'Sites' as this is where I feel I have really developed and learned this year. I do not like the exam format however; the time limit pressurised me even though I finished well within hour an a half allowance. I do not like multiple choice either - it all seems so false, and I am Libran who finds it difficult to choose when faced with too many options :). If the exam asked me to 'do' the tasks rather than choose from a list of possible ways to do the task, I would feel more confident. The removal of myself away from the interface made it really tricky to think about in an abstract way, as I operate on a intuitive level and have navigated my way around Sites without the training documents. I know how to do stuff but can't pin down how easily. This made the exam very difficult for me. The exam does provide the capability to mark and review questions and so I did. I did know that some were wrong as I just couldn't figure out the answer despite executing some tasks in real time. However I completed the exam, in a small noisy apartment in the middle of moving, with two children and a husband lurking about - and passed!

It was scary as it has been YEARS since I sat an exam - and despite knowing I use Google Sites everyday and have done for the past six months, I still was tense awaiting the result. I have now cleared out my study and packed up most of my resources and may be ready to sit still and attempt another exam later today. Only five more exams to go for certification...

1 July 2012

My Blog

This is where I will Blog about the learning and training I am undertaking to try to find out what is best for the learners in my classroom.