School librarians can be challenged to find professional development that means something and is authentic to our teaching. If I put time and effort into something I want to feel like I gained a skill that improves me somehow. When your content area is so specific to you, school librarians can oftentimes fall short on available resources to continue our professional growth. Below I list 5 certifications that might interest you to work on this summer virtually and at your own pace.
Google offers a wide range of free online modules that lead to certifications for educators. They offer a Level 1, Level 2, Certified Trainer, Certified Innovator, and G Suite Certification. All of these courses can be found in the Google Teacher Center. The ability to work on the modules is free, but if you are interested in completing the final test for certification they do charge a minimal fee. These self-paced modules will take you through the ins and outs of the Google education world. If you work in a Google Apps for Education school I would highly recommend taking the level 1 certification. The learning housed in this teacher center will make working with teachers and troubleshooting GSuite issues simple.
With the sudden rise in remote learning, many elementary schools began to use Seesaw as their main platform for delivering content to students. Seesaw has so many interactive features and parent communication tools that educators love. Seesaw offers a free certification as a Seesaw Pioneer and Seesaw Ambassador, depending on your knowledge level. They also offer an extensive Seesaw Training and PD section for supporting teachers as well. Getting to know this product more in depth could be a great headstart into next school year and the possibilities of continued remote learning.
Flipgrid Certified Educator
Interested in learning more about what Flipgrid can do? Wondering how you can incorporate this tech tool into instruction with teachers? The Flipgrid Certified Educator page has all you need to be a Flipgrid expert. This site offers three levels of certification and badging, all free of charge. Each building on the other and increasing your knowledge of the ways Flipgrid can increase student online communications.
Nearpod Certified Educator
Nearpod is an ed-tech tool that all levels of learner can enjoy. The lesson library is extensive and teachers are able to edit all lessons to meet there own needs. A great benefit to Nearpod is that teachers can assign work that is self-paced for students or live. To become a Nearpod Certified Educator is entirely free. All you need to do is complete the three-step process. These steps show your understanding and gives you a space to play with your own creative Nearpod ideas.
Since we talked about GSuite certification, it’s only balanced that I share Apple’s version as well. Becoming an Apple Certified Teacher is a great way to learn more about what your school Apple products can do. The modules, badges, and certificates are completely free. If you are an Apple Product district, this certification will be meaningful and helpful to your work with teachers. Once you register Apple will send you verification and you will be able to begin the self-paced modules.
Summer work and professional development can be hard to find for school librarians each year. All 5 of the above ideas will keep you busy developing professionally with commonly used tech tools. Especially in this new frontier of remote learning, we now more then ever can use more information on how to navigate some of the great tools available to support e-learning in the future.
Author: Elizabeth Pelayo
Elizabeth Pelayo is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the AASL AAUP Book Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the nominations committee for the ISLMA Abraham Lincoln Book Award.