Experiencing Free/Open Source Courses

Google Open Online Education


Google for Education


  • Summary of the course.

This is a course that is designed by Google.  There are a few different options that you can choose in terms of your learning outcomes.  You can learn more about Google tools for example, gmail, Google docs and drive, Google calendar, etc.  There is also the option to work towards becoming a certified Google educator and then even a certified Google trainer.  If you decide to to go for certification there are very clear guidelines listed and five online assessments that you will need to pass.  

  • Design of the course.

The Google tools course is designed so that the learner can “self differentiate”.  When you begin the course there is a quick assessment to make sure that you know the basics before moving on to the more detailed lessons.  Once you pass this assessment you are able to choose the lessons that you would like to take and in whatever order you prefer.  Each lesson has a quick description of the outcomes as well as how student and teacher might apply what you are about to learn in the lesson.    

  • Presentation of material and how it's different from face-to-face learning.

In addition to the learning outcomes and how the learning might be applied in the future, Google has created tutorials and compiled videos that present the material to the learner.  None of the videos that I watched we “created” by Google.  All of the videos were made by either a certified Google teacher or a certified Google trainer.  After watching the videos I think that it is also safe to say that the creators of the video did not create the video specifically for Google.  The videos initial creation was to post on their personal blog or website.  Google then must have asked their permission to use the video and put it up onto the course website.      

  • How the course offered a rich learning experience.

I appreciated being able to choose what I wanted to learn after reading the overall description of the individual lessons however, I wonder if I might have missed out on any new information.  For example, when I did watch a lesson that I thought I already knew how to do I still learned a small trick that I did not know before the lesson.  Did you know you can share a Google doc with a group email contact!?  

  • Reflection on the educational theories found in the course design.

This course is designed to be completely self directed.  One concern that I had was the lack of feedback that I was receiving.  After completing all of the lessons I am planning to take the Google certification tests.  There is a cost associated with taking each of the tests and if you do not pass the first time you have to wait a few weeks before Google allows you to take the assessment over.  My concern is that I will not be prepared for the test and will end up having to spend more time and money if I do not pass the assessment.  I am wondering if there is a way for Google to add more formative assessments along the way that will help me to go back and reteach myself any content that I might have missed.  

  • Challenges and benefits to online learning in K-12 education.

There many benefits associated with online learning like, convenience and schedule flexibility, efficiency, less expensive, allows the learner to be self directs, etc.  However, I can’t help but wonder the implications not fostering a relationship outside of the online world with your students and/or your teacher.  Marzano’s research points to the importance of feedback and recognition.  Is this something that is incumbent on relationships?  Or can a student truly reflect when given feedback and recognition in an online world?  


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