Google is fast becoming the principal technology used in classrooms today. Google Apps for Education has over 50 million users in 190 countries and has also been chosen by 7 out of 8 Ivy League universities. As for Chrome devices, they are the best selling education devices in the USA. Here are a couple of reasons for the rising popularity of Google in the classroom:
- Chromebooks are the most secure devices and offer the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) for end user computing
- Google Apps provide secure and collaborative cloud-based access to office productivity tools for spreadsheets, presentations and creating documents and diagrams
All of this helps prepare the students of today for the workplace they will join. To make this technology truly effective, Google have recognised that they need to help teachers prepare for changes in their role as access to these resources becomes ubiquitous. So they've created a free online Training Centre that teaches educators the best strategies for integrating Google in their classroom.
At the end of courses, educators have the option of taking an exam to become a Google Certified Educator and this is where Ancoris played a part. Based on previous work Ancoris had done for Google, the education team were keen to provide an exam which mixes traditional question types with objective assessment of educators demonstrating their skills with Google's technology.
To build the exam platform, Ancoris made use of the myriad APIs that exist to Google's services to provision an environment for each candidate. In the exam, candidates carry out a series of "role play" scenarios in which they must actually do the kind of things modern educators do on a daily basis - make appropriate use of YouTube, securely share materials, schedule meetings etc. Once the candidates complete the exam a SaaS (software as a service) application written by Ancoris (but hosted entirely in the Google Cloud Platform) goes through each question and each exercise to determine the score achieved by the candidate.
By creating the exam platform, we are delighted to play our part in helping realise this education revolution. For sure, it is a small part in the overall process, but Google's initiative to support effective teaching is very important for the future of our children's education and we're extremely proud to be associated with it.