What is the Google Product Experts Program???

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

The Google Product Experts Program is about recruiting volunteer tech enthusiasts to facilitate discussions, and answer questions about using Google Products in the Google Help Communities. Note it is not about becoming employed by Google. Yes, it does look good to have this program listed on a resume. If you go above and beyond by blogging and creating YouTube Tutorials, it may reap some rewards. Other than that, you receive swag as a gift of appreciation. So if you don’t mind having a closet full of T-shirts and other items embellished with their logo, this may be a program for you. You can also obtain badges for various levels due to points earned.

The badge levels provide perks such as a private area to discuss the product. It puts you in the know of potential updates. However, you are under NDA, which means no product discussions outside the specific product group. You may get to do some beta testing. Beta testing doesn’t necessarily mean testing a device. Most of the time the beta test is focused on testing potential APP updates.

I had an opportunity to beta test a physical device. The item was shipped back to Google upon completion of the beta test. So, if you like being in the know and helping others, then the Google Product Experts Program may be for you.

Why I Joined the Google Products Expert Program

In 2016 I joined the Google Top Contributor Program, which eventually evolved into the Google Product Expert (PE) Program. The first thing I’d like to share is the premise of both programs was to provide volunteer support in the Social Media realm, including the Google Help Forums now Community. At the time, the life of being Googley appealed to me. Plus, helping people struggling using technology was intrinsically rewarding. The Google PE program was also a good fit for expanding my knowledge bank as I started the journey of becoming a Certified Google for Education Trainer.

There is nothing more motivating than receiving an uplifting reply from a struggling product user.

In 2016 I didn’t know diddly squat about the Google Product Expert Program. I used Twitter to help Google for Education (now Workspace for Education) users with product applications. While chatting with educators on Twitter, I received a direct message. The message started with, “I’m an employee of Google….” My first thought was, “This got to be a scam.” The first thing I did was a Google search on this person. To my amazement, this Twitter handle was the real deal. After meeting in a video chat with the Google Employee, I decided the Google program was a good fit. It was a tool for supporting the growth of my knowledge bank and provided me another method for helping people who were struggling with using technology.

Kindly note this is the first post of a series focused on the Google Product Experts Program.

The Power of a Google Drawing

Last summer I discovered Google Drawings along with the vast uses for supporting education. Recently I’ve noticed how the Google Drawing APP is integrated into some of the other core components within a Google APPS for Education Account.

This past week I had the opportunity to explore using the Google Drawings  integrated within a Google Document. This tool unleashes the power to create original clipart, charts, graphic organizers, meme’s and etc… within a Google Document. This is done by layering both image files, shapes and a few other detailed steps to have the drawing image positioned properly in a Google Document.

Why do this?

  1. Provides visual support to help the student complete assignments.
  2. Students can express ideas in a picture along with words.
  3. Provides an interactive manipulative for problem solving built into the Google Document.
  4. Mind map support for writing.
    • Student may move Mind map throughout document.
  5. Provides an area to do computation within the document.
  6. Here are a few ideas to support creativity and critical thinking skills 
    • Student creates a Meme positioned at top of document.
      • Student then types or voice types explaining their inspiration for creating the Meme.
        • Same idea can be used with
          • Poetry layered on a graphic background.
          • An opening paragraph layered upon representative illustration.
  7. There is too Many Google Drawing Support ideas to share in one blog post  list.

MOST IMPORTANT to this POST:

It is an interactive way to support writing!

USING GOOGLE DRAWING

to

Layer Writing on Top of Graphics

  • Open a Google Doc

Open New Google Doc.gif

  • Insert an image
    • Step 1: Click Insert
    • Step 2: Click Drawing
  •  drawing 1-2.png
    • Click Insert 
    • Choose Image

Drawing 2

  • Add a Text Box
    • Click Insert
    • Choose Text Box

Drawing 3

Watch Here to LEARN More!!!

 

 

Google Supports Autonomous Student Research

When it comes to students doing research Google Docs is one of the best tools around. Google Docs has many hidden features for supporting all different learning styles. It offers voice typing for the student who has difficulty expressing themselves with pen & paper. Another feature I really like is the Research Tool! This allows the student to do research right within the document without having to open a million browser tabs or windows.

The research tool provides the student with the ability to simply drag diagrams, clipart, and links right into a document. The student can easily cite resources in several different formats: MLA, Chicago and APA.

No need to worry about image usage rights when the researcher selects, “Free to use, share or modify even commercially” in the filter image results section of the Research Tool. The Google Docs Research Tool supports research by minimizing frustration to create a report which respects the owners rights.

Google Docs Research Tool Introduction

Using Research Tool

Let the Creative Juices Flow with Peanuts!

Unleash your student’s authoring talent by letting them create a customized Peanut’s Avatar scene. The students first start by creating a character’s physical features, expressional emotion, and finish with selecting a fashion style. Once the character is complete the student picks a scene to place their character in. I see this as a springboard for creative writing.

The Peanutize Me website allows the user to download the picture or an avatar profile which can be  inserted into a Google Doc, Slide, Sheet, Blogger Blog, or Google Website. These are all tools the student can use to explore creative story writing.
peanuts