Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Google Educator ...

As part of our final MDTA PLG we had the opportunity to start working towards our Google Educator exams.  I managed to pass two during this session and have completed the final three needed this weekend!

Completing the required study before sitting these exams reinforced much of the knowledge I already had but also introduced features I hadn't previously explored before in the Google product range.  Here are some of my "new" favourites:

  • Gmail Task list - I really like how you can link a task to an email you have received - rather than clogging up my inbox with unfinished tasks, I'm adding the task to my task list which automatically associates it with the email  - I like dealing with my emails immediately and having a relatively clear inbox - the task list is allowing me to achieve that even more than before
  • Creating custom calendars and embedding them into a Google Site - my class site links to a weekly calendar which I created this year using a Google Sheet and update weekly - now I realise I'm double handling.  Next year I will create a new calendar for my class and simply embed this into my Class Site - this will ensure its constantly updated and also shows parents and whanau upcoming events.
  • Google Chrome Themes - I had known these existed but haven't explored them.  Much like my computer desktop, I like an occasional change and by picking a new Google theme it gives my browser a fresh "new" look - maybe a new theme for 2015!
At Pt England School we use Google!  I use the Google range of products both at school and privately and its through the continued use that I have got better and better - I'm constantly exploring the apps and extensions available to see what could help me in my professional (and personal) online world!  Its now official however, I'm a Google Educator!


  1. Nice one Karen, It's my goal to get these exams done over the xmas break. Any tips on preparing for the exams?

    1. I found the last section of each course the most beneficial, which is the more advanced level for each one. You work through these at your own pace and can spend more time of things you're unfamiliar with :)