Google wants schools to take advantage of its Apps for Education suite of productivity tools and services, but it also recognizes that proper professional development is essential to enabling educators and transforming education. The company today announced the release of a free training platform that provides interactive lessons with a focus on how to successfully complete real classroom tasks and objectives using Google products.
The new platform is called Google for Education Training Center and builds upon a recent survey by the American Federation of Teachers which found that 71% of educators and administrators surveyed cited “adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development” as a primary source of stress in their work lives. The new tools are supposed to help teachers apply Google’s tools in the classroom and beyond.
The lessons, like how to get students collaborating using Drive and Docs, are organized around the three themes above and range in difficulty from beginner courses to those targeted at teachers who already know their way around Google’s products quite well but might inspiration on how to differently using the products with their students.
As part of the announcement, Google says that it has brought on the Chicago Public Schools, a school district including over 600 schools and 400,000 students, as a launch partner for the Training Center. The district will use Training Center as a part of its technology professional development program, and the course will count towards its teachers’ professional development hours.
“The Training Center reflects what we value most about education, focusing on the process of learning rather than the tools themselves,” the company says. More information about the Training Center and to try the lessons, Apps for Education customers can visit g.co/edutrainingcenter.