And of course, today, six years after I first started using Google apps in the classroom...our students are getting "official training" on Google applications. I don't suppose it's a negative step, but it's funny how slowly things move sometimes, especially in education. At this point, my students know Google apps well...not only from me, but from the dozens of other teachers that have since started using Google Docs in the past six years. While some refresher information might help them, this training is coming many years too late. We could have used this back in 2011.
My frustration, while seemingly directed at the district, is actually directed at Google itself. One program Google has in placed is the "Google Certified Teacher" program, which allows teachers to apply, travel, and become trained as, well, certified Google teachers. I originally considered applying for this because it seemed like a unique potential honor, and a chance to work more with Google...but I soon found it's just a glorified training in Google apps. Worse yet, it's a training in "how to train" others in Google apps. The very same apps that have been around for the past decade. If you go on Twitter, every weekend there's countless teachers and districts going to and having training for #GAFE, or "Google Apps for Education". While it might come across as snobby, I find this mentality condescending. Google Apps are designed to be simple to use and easy to learn, yet there's an entire marketing push, and cult-like following, of people that love explaining how to "share" a document, how to name a file, and how to create a folder. People get a thrill over over-explaining the easy stuff...even when everyone can a) learn it themselves or b) has already learned it years ago. Google Apps aren't complicated...because they're not supposed to be. Lets stop acting like we're ambassadors from the future when talking about a decade-old product and get back to the content at hand.
So after today, will Google Apps be acquired at the school? Absolutely...but that doesn't mean the introductory trainings will stop. I'm sure we'll all be "introduced" to Google Apps another half dozen times over the next decade...or at least until the next "new thing" arrives.