Because of an obvious void in the area of training and support Google created the Apps marketplace where third party vendors can offer technical services, training, and add-ons to the Google Apps suite. As a Google Certified Trainer I am listed in the marketplace as are several other educators. We each offer custom training and support for school interested in migrating to Google Apps or wanting to help their students and staff get the most out of Google Apps through professional development opportunities.
If you are looking for custom, hands on, personalized training for your school or business, reach out to one of the certified trainers listed in the Apps Marketplace. I know most of them personally and know that they would all do a great job. We are scattered around the US so it's likely that someone will be close to you!
Because the services of the certified trainers are personal and custom, they are a paid service. However perhaps you are just a teacher looking for some help in leveraging Google Apps more effectively in your classroom. Perhaps your school hasn't Gone Google yet so you are trying out the standard version of Google's Tools. Maybe you are a tech coordinator and are looking to build a list of on-demand resources that you can offer to your staff. There are lots of free resources available, but they have not been well cataloged. So here's my list of free training and support resources for Google Apps for Education:
- Google Apps for Education FAQ (This is a great place to begin learning about Apps for Education. Answers a lot of common misconceptions about Apps.)
- Google in the Classroom iTunesU Course (a free online course I developed featuring short video tutorials and suggestions on integrating Google Apps into your classroom. Full description here).
- Google, More than Search [itunes link] (a podcast series on iTunes that I created featuring screencast tutorials on many of Google's products. These videos are also posted on YouTube.)
- Official Google Apps YouTube channel (features tutorials, case studies and product overviews)
- Overview of the Google Apps suite (Sponsored and run by Google. Events are scheduled regularly throughout the year.)
- Google Certified Trainer Webinar Series (Sponsored by Google, led by certified trainers around the country, including myself! Many of the trainers are/were classroom teachers and will focus on classroom applications of Google tools)
- Google Apps Deployment Guide (provides suggestions on the rollout of Apps to an organization)
- Tech Support Forum (not really a forum. Searchable database of instructions and information.)
- Community Forum (forum where users post and answer questions. Most contributions are from end-users with occasional interjection by Google Employees)
- Accessibility information for Google Products.
Interaction and Ideasharing:
- If you are a twitter user, follow the hashtag #gct. This is an ongoing discussion between the Google Certified Teachers. Throw out a question to us and we'll be happy to help!
- Become a Google Certified Teacher by attending the Google Teacher Academy. Held twice annually around the globe. Check out the GTA website and watch for the next application deadline.
- Google Educators Discussion Group (a place for posting questions, ideas, and sharing resources. This is a very active community!)
- Directory of official Google Twitter accounts (Follow for lots of tips and news on new features)
- Check out this list of lesson plans sortable by grade, subject, and Google Tool.
- Directory of official Google blogs. (Add these in your RSS feed to stay up to date on new features and news related to Docs, Blogger, YouTube, etc)
- Google resources blog bundle: I created a "bundle" of blogs that I would recommend. Most of these blogs are maintained by Google Certified Teachers.
There are undoubtedly other excellent resources that I haven't found. Please contribute to this list by posting relevant resources in a comment. I will periodically add them to the master list for others to use and benefit from.