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Apple or Google: Which professional development program is for you?

It’s not especially easy to quickly demonstrate your education technology skills when you’re not in the classroom. Sure, you may know how to effectively integrate Google Chromebooks or Apple iPads while simultaneously leveraging a project-based learning approach to STEAM subjects, but how do you actually convey that when chatting with colleagues or others?

It’s not easy.

That’s why many teachers are turning to professional development from the major tech companies like Apple and Google.

Since their names are both synonymous with education technology at this point, it’s no surprise they both boast some fantastic learning opportunities for teachers around the world. Anyone can apply and work to earn the certification, but there are a few things you should know. That’s why I really enjoyed seeing this visual guide to the key differences between the Apple Distinguished Educator program and the Google Teacher Academy.

As you’ll see, one of these programs may fit your needs and expertise better than the other. Since there’s no real way to determine which option is best, I wanted to lay out as many of the differences as possible.

I did want to give a shout out to my friend Adam Webster who is an Apple Distinguished Educator and can answer just about any question you may have about the program.

Okay, so let’s dive into the basics of each program.

About The Google Teacher Academy

The Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each GTA is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.

“My biggest takeaway wasn’t a new tool or trick, though we learned great ones, but it was the reminder of what’s possible with shared energy – that creative spark we hope to capture and recreate for our students.”
– Gretel Patch, Google Certified Teacher, Nepal 2013

Approximately 50 innovative educators from around the world are selected to attend each GTA based on the merits of their online application. Applicants include classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, technology advocates, librarians, administrators, professional trainers, and other education professionals who actively serve the world’s primary and secondary teachers and students. – via the GTA website

About The Apple Distinguished Educators Program

Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. They explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities. That includes working with each other — and with Apple — to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere.

In her quest for authentic content, Noemi Trainor, Founder/Principal at The Varmond School in Mexico, is spearheading a curriculum revolution throughout Latin America. With iPads at their fingertips the faculty is able to customize learning for every student and provide interactive, bilingual-based curriculum using Multi-Touch books created in iBooks Author.
– Noemi Trainor, ADE Class of 2012

There are now more than 2,000 ADEs worldwide, from the United States to China, New Zealand to Turkey. And they gather every year at ADE Institutes and education events around the world as well as online in the ADE community to collaborate on solutions to the global education challenges of today and tomorrow. – via the ADE website

The Key Differences Between Apple and Google Professional Development Programs

Now you know the basics of each program. Nice! It’s time to check out this handy visual guide from Where Learning Clicks to get a better look at how the two programs differ.

apple google professional development

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