Berry Middle School teacher obtains Google certification

HOOVER – Technology’s importance in the modern classroom grows continuously, and Berry Middle School’s Chris Peterson is among the instructors leading the way.

Peterson

Peterson

Peterson, a sixth grade science teacher and coach of the eighth grade boys basketball team, recently became a Google Certified Educator.

The certification process requires teachers to demonstrate that they can utilize and incorporate Google platforms—namely the G-Suite for Education including Classroom, Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Sites programs—into their classrooms.

“It is really amazing the opportunities that students have in school currently that weren’t available when I was in school,” Peterson said. “The engagement and problem-solving skills that are promoted through the incorporation of technology in classrooms offers so much more to learning.”

Over a period of about three months, Peterson completed online training sessions and practices, then a three-hour online exam that consisted of knowing and applying some of the advantages of Google platforms and performing specific tasks using the platforms.

Docs allows for collaboration between students, including working on shared documents and seeing live changes that other students make or suggest.

“In my science classroom, students can participate in “real-science” by sharing data, collaborating on projects and peer editing others’ work,” Peterson said. “As they are writing their science experiment, I can see how specific they’re being, for example.”

With YouTube, which is owned by Google, Peterson can take video of an experiment done in class and post it through his account, where students that were absent from school can view the video.

Students enroll in the virtual class in Classroom, then Peterson can pose questions to assess their learning. Parents can also access information in Classroom.

Sites facilitates building web pages.

Peterson obtained the first level of Google Certified Educator proficiency and hopes to obtain the second level by the end of the school year. Possible steps beyond that include becoming a certified trainer and innovator.

“I don’t know that I’d go higher than the next level, but I just like using the products so much,” Peterson said. “The best part about it is teachers coming to me and asking how they can use this in their classroom. I enjoy teaching other teachers as much as teaching students.”