Lesia Lennex

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Fall 2020 marked the first fully virtual semester for P-12 classrooms across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Teachers were faced with challenges such as the digital divide, device access, and materials access (Prichard Committee, 2020). Toward improving the success of our teacher education candidates to teach in virtual environments, a task force was formed to investigate the use of Google Classroom, a free learning management system (LMS) which allows third-party creation, distribution, and collection of common P-12 classroom artifacts (Clark, 2020), Google Apps for Education (GAFE), and Google Level I certification. Teachers (N=427) and school administrators (N=66) in 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky were invited to participate along with the entirety of a rural university’s undergraduate teacher education population (N=623) and Educator Preparation Providers (EPP) (N=63). P-12 teachers comprised the largest participation rate with 34% followed by school administrators at 26%. Significantly, 65% of teachers believed that Google certification Level I should be a required part of teacher initial certification and 59% of P-12 school administrators (mainly principals) were ‘somewhat’ more likely to hire teachers with a Google certification and 29% were “much more likely to hire.”



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