In December 2019, I began completing a technology certification program for teachers. I was looking for a way to improve my technology skills to enhance my classes. While I will not expressly state the training that I used, I will say that there are many options to choose from. Therefore, I am not endorsing any particular certification over another in this post.
I plan to earn at least two more certifications because they provide a holistic view of using technology or describe specific technology skills that I need. If you are thinking of pursuing certification, it is best to review each program and decide which one will provide the best option for the school where you work. Some programs are free and others require a fee. Here is a list of programs to consider.
- Apple Teacher Program: https://www.apple.com/education/k12/apple-teacher/
- Google Educator Certification: https://edu.google.com/teacher-center/certifications/?modal_active=none
- ISTE Teaching Certification: https://www.iste.org/professional-development/iste-certification
- Microsoft Certified Educator: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/microsoft-certified-educator/
If you know that you need to update your skills, I highly recommend completing a technology certification program because of the systematic way content is presented. I enjoyed completing the certification process because it allowed me to interact with several types of professionals, including school librarians, classroom teachers, administrators, and technology teachers, to grow my personal learning network. Each professional has a unique viewpoint of what students need. Eventually, I exchanged contact information with some of them and began following them on social media. Identifying and following other education professionals has been essential for learning about new ways to use educational technology.
Here are some are general tips for earning technology certification for educators.
- Use your research skills to search for materials that certified educators have submitted. Certified technology educators often detail their experiences on blogs. I was inspired by the blogs that I read. But, be careful. The requirements for certification are frequently updated.
- If you need to submit a portfolio or work samples, think about some of the materials that you already have that can be adapted. You can choose to re-envision what has been done through a reflective scope to develop materials faster.
- I found feedback to be critical for finishing the process. If your certification program offers discussions or if a certified educator is providing mentoring, consider reaching out. Certification candidates need plenty of feedback. Mentoring and meetings will allow you to ask questions and to submit samples of your ideas for comments.
- Take notes to review when you read materials and watch presentations. At the end of the process, you may need to take a test or summarize what they have learned.
In all, I feel like the certification process has helped me to be more mindful of my teaching and leadership practices for technology integration. The assessments forced me to spotlight my strengths and weaknesses. The process also assisted me with documenting my professional efforts and engaging in reflective practice.
While I obtained certification, I will admit that I still need to work on some of the competencies. I have made it a priority to seek continuing education. I am currently participating in more continuing education to hone my skills. If you want an honest critique of how you utilize technology to facilitate your school’s curriculum, I highly recommend that you pursue educator technology certification training.
Author: Daniella Smith
Daniella Smith, PhD. is a former school and public librarian. She is currently the Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children’s Library Services at the University of North Texas.