Changes to the Google Education Certification Programs in 2014

We have had several questions regarding the updated Google Education Certifications so I thought I would write a blog post to look at the new certifications, and also the changes in more detail.

Firstly all information about the certification programs is available at the new Google Education page by clicking on the ‘Certification’ link. The new website is clearly laid out and explains things really well.

So to start with there are now three Google Education qualifications. We give an overview of each below and explain the differences from the previous qualifications. They are:

  • Google Educator 
  • Google Education Trainer 
  • Google Certified teacher 
Google Educator Intro and changes

The first step for everyone is to become a Google Educator and you gain this qualification by passing 5 exams. This qualification was previously called the ‘Google Apps Qualified Individual’. The updated qualification broadens the scope to include all Google Education Tools not just the core Google Apps suite as was the case previously.

The exams have changed slightly. Instead of the 5 original exams (Mail, Drive, Calendar, Sites, Admin) It’s required to pass 4 compulsory exams (Mail, Drive, Calendar, Sites) then choose just ONE elective exam from the list (Chrome, Chromebooks, tablets, Implementing Google Apps).

I think this change is a great idea as many teachers never work in Google Apps Administration so now they do not necessarily need to take this exam. Please note that the exams have not been changed yet so its still possible to register and purchase the old exams but I am sure this will be updated soon.
Core Google Suite

So you must pass 4 exams on the core Google suite:


Then you must pass 1 exam from a list of 4. These exams are on some interesting ‘non-core’ topics and you can choose one depending on your area of interest. If you are fairly new to Google Apps and Google in Education the ‘Chrome Browser’ exam will be a good place to start as it’s amazing to find the amazing possibilities with Chrome that most people don’t know about.

The other exams will appeal depending on your area of interests. If your school is using or considering Chromebooks or Android devices then these exams will be useful. The ‘Implementing Google Apps’ exam will be a great learning experience for school IT staff looking to implement Google Apps at their school.

Study preparation

The course material has been completely revamped from the previous site and includes many embedded YouTube videos and the time needed to complete each section is clearly stated. In some cases, for example with advanced gmail the training link goes back to the old training material.

To take the exams and become a Google Educator just go to https://google.starttest.com/ You will be presented with the screen below and you can purchase each exam for $15 each. There is no discounted bundle being offered currently as was the case before.

When you pass the 5 exams you will automatically be given a link to your ‘Google Educator’ certificate which you can print off. Currently there is no online badge for becoming a Google Educator.

It is anticipated that many educators, probably the majority, will stop after becoming a Google Educator. For those who want to continue though read on….

Google Education Trainer Intro and changes

The Google Education Trainer was previously named the Google Apps EDU Certified Trainer which is a huge improvement. Google is really emphasising now that this qualification is focussed on individuals that have:

  • A strong history of Google training in schools 
  • Engaging public speaking skills 
  • An ability to distill content into creative, informative learning materials 
  • Enthusiasm and passion for the role of technology in education 

Essentially it is becoming clearly focussed on people who want to train educators in other schools and at summits etc. For educators who are looking to use Google tools in their classroom the ‘Google Educator’ would be ideal. So if you want to demonstrate your knowledge of Google tools in Education become a ‘Google Educator’. If you want to take this to the next level and conduct training on Google tools externally then continue on with the ‘Google Education Trainer’ program.
Application process

One change from before is that previously there was an application form that could be completed at any time, whereas now applications will be reviewed quarterly and the application form is not open all this time.

We anticipate the application process will be broadly the same and consisting of;

  • A case study where you conduct and document a training event 
  • Recording two videos; one where you dem some aspect of Google Apps and one where you turn the camera on yourself and talk about your experience with Google Tools and as an innovative educator 
  • Google Certified Teacher

Finally just to quickly mention the ‘Google Certified Teacher’ certification, which is separate from the two qualifications listed above. This is easy to explain as there is no change from before 🙂 To become a Google Certified Teacher you need to be accepted to attend a Google Teacher Academy (GTA), which is a two day events held a few times year each with around 50 attendees each. Gaining acceptance to a GTA is highly competitive so if you are considering this it is important to put a lot of effort into your video application. I would recommend to spend some time looking on YouTube at similar successful applications.


If you are interested to attend a bootcamp to help you prepare for both the Google Educator and Google Education Trainer qualifications check out the certification boot camps offered by AppsEvents. If you would like to host an event at your school please complete the Google Form on the site.

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