Just to be clear, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger evangelist of Google Apps for Education than me. It streamlines teacher workflow, enhances collaboration, and gives student a safe, creative place to explore what it means to be a digital citizen. Marry it with a Chromebook and it takes less time to power up than it does to turn to page 128 in a social studies textbook. It's a game-changer.
But the more I think about it, the less convinced I am that becoming a GCT is the path I need to be on right now. The first step was passing the 4 core tests (Docs/Drive, Sites, Gmail, Calendar) and 1 elective (in my case, Chrome), which proved to me that I know what I'm talking about (and I got a fancy certificate to show people when I corner them at dinner parties). Step 2 to becoming a fully certified trainer would only require a resume, 3 references and a screencast, none of which are difficult things to do.
But here's my hangup: annual recertification requires conducting 12 Google trainings every year.
Practically speaking, that would probably happen without even trying. My job is to train teachers, we're piloting Chromebooks, and we're rolling out GAFE. Opportunities abound. The issue is more philosophical: would I be exclusively focused on the needs of my teachers when one of my considerations in planning professional development is making sure I get my GCT hours in?
I'm just wondering if any trainer certification in the education realm that's conferred by a vendor carries with it a certain conflict of interest. It seems to especially be the case when the recertification process requires prioritizing the vendor's product.
While a Google app may often be the best tool for a given situation, equally as often it won't be. I want to make sure I keep the freedom to train teachers using whatever works best, which means evaluating a variety of tools from diverse sources, then picking the one that meets the need without stopping to consider if it meets my recertification requirement.
So for my first year, I'm going to make sure I'm focused on who I'm serving, not on reaching a training number. Maybe once I get some experience under my belt, I'll realize that there are plenty of hours to go around. We'll see. But for now, that's why I'm not becoming a Google Certified Trainer...yet.