One of my favorite tools for collaboration resides in the massive online giant called Google. Tonight I finally finished taking (and passing) the six exams required to call oneself a “Google Apps for Education Qualified Trainer.”
Even if you have no plans to use a certification of this sort – if your school uses Google Apps for Education taking these exams really forces you to think about and explore the power of these tools. As I took the exams this time I thought of new ways to engage students with immediate feedback using forms, quick ways to simplify my QR codes using a function in spreadsheets, and interesting collaborative research projects using docs and presentations. Definitely worth the time though the $90 might be a bit steep when you can just force yourself to review the modules on your own. (I tend to do better at reviewing the modules after I have paid for the exams for some reason).
The next step is to achieve certified trainer status. To this end I am working hard to provide training and support to educators out in the field and coming up with the other required items for this status.