Ten Skills Students Can Learn from Google’s Applied Digital Skills Lessons

Over the years, I have always recommended making your own lesson plans as much as possible. But the reality is that sometimes we just run out of ideas and need to borrow some inspiration from others. That’s why, after more than a decade of introducing students and teachers to the possibilities and possibilities of using Google Workspace tools, I now recommend looking at Google’s homework in Applied Digital Skills for ideas on teaching with Google Docs, Slides, Sheets. and other Google Workspace Tools.

There are currently 160 lesson plans available in Google’s directory of applied digital skills. I have reviewed and selected ten that can be used not only to help students become familiar with Google Workspace tools, but also to develop skills that they can use throughout their academic careers and beyond.

All lesson plans in the Applied Digital Skills curriculum follow the same format. The lesson begins with a short introductory video (written transcripts are available) followed by videos demonstrating the skills and tasks required to complete the lesson. Upon successful completion of the lesson, students may receive an Applied Digital Skills Certificate of Completion.

Evaluate the credibility of online sources
If your students are doing any online research, evaluating online sources is a skill that they need to develop. The days of evaluating sites based on the domain or the aesthetics of the site are long gone (thankfully). Today, students need to have a process to analyze the content of what they read online. An evaluation process is exactly what the lesson Evaluate the Credibility of Online Sources Applied Digital Skills teaches. Along the way, students will also learn some helpful tips on creating and formatting Google Docs and Google Sheets.

Build healthy digital habits
Between mobile phones, laptops, tablets and televisions, it is easy to spend unhealthy time looking at a screen. Therefore, I was happy to find the lesson Build Healthy Digital Habits Applied Digital Skills that can help students become aware of their own digital habits and start building better. In the lesson, students use Google Slides to create a journal where they log their digital and non-digital activities. In addition to logging activities, students write short reflections on how these activities made them feel and how they can change their activities in the future to create a better balance between digital and non-digital activities.

Time management
For years, I have told my high school students that showing up on time and getting things done on time is a skill that helps them succeed in many areas of their lives beyond school. Of course, school is the place to develop this skill. Lesson Applied Digital Skill Creating a Study Plan with Google Sheets can help students develop better time management skills. Throughout the lesson, students will also learn how to format spreadsheets, how to perform sorting functions in spreadsheets, and how to track progress in spreadsheets.

Group project management
Being able to work with a group of people to complete a project is a skill that can serve students well throughout their lives. Like individual time management, group project management can be made easier when executed with a plan. Google Sheets is a great tool for creating a group project management plan and system. The Lesson Applied Digital Skills Organize a group project guides students through how to format a spreadsheet, share it, and use it to track project assignments with a group.

Story Planning
Writing an If-So-adventure story is a lesson in which students collaborate with classmates to create a story that has several possible story paths. I have used variations of this lesson with students all the way down to fourth grade throughout high school. The basic idea is that students use hyperlinks in Google Slides to build multiple paths through their stories, and the reader can choose the direction the story goes. Through the process of creating an If-Then Adventure Story, students develop story planning skills. , as they learn to account for several possibilities throughout history.

Game design
It’s fun to play a game that someone else has made. Watching someone play a game you’ve built, or playing a game you’ve built with someone, can be even more fun. I have experienced this first hand with my own students. If you want your students to develop a digital game and learn some arithmetic skills at the same time, check out the Applied Digital Skills lesson entitled Wage a Sea Battle with Google Sheets.

Mind Mapping
Mindmapping is a topic that I have researched and written a lot about over the years (most recently right here). I have been using Google Drawings for years to get students to make their own mind maps on a wide variety of topics. Creating mind maps is a great way for students to think about and demonstrate the connections they make between topics on a given topic. This lesson on applied digital skills shows you and your students how to create a mind map with Google Drawings.

Conducting job searches and identifying career paths
The days of high school students opening classes to find a part-time job are long gone. Similarly, learning about career paths is no longer limited to looking in a few library books about careers. Google for Education’s Applied Digital Skills Lesson Library has lessons that can help you help your students learn how to find part-time jobs and explore career paths.

In the Search for Part-Time or Summer Jobs lesson, students learn to identify their interests, create a list of their experiences and skills, and then find part-time jobs that match their interests and experiences.

The Research Career Paths lesson takes students beyond the old days of reading about careers in a book or listening to guest speakers during a “career day” at school. The lesson plan helps students use Google Sheets to analyze career paths based on salary, training requirements, training costs, and job prospects. I used a slightly modified version of this lesson last year to help my students explore career paths. My change added a layer specifically to career paths in computer science.

Understand digital footprints
It seems that every day there is a new story that a celebrity or a public figure gets into hot water because of something they have previously said or done online. It should serve as a good reminder for us to teach our students to be aware of what they are saying and doing online. At the same time, it serves as a reminder to teach students that they leave digital footprints everywhere they go. In Understanding Your Digital Footprint, students use Google Sheets to create visualizations of their digital footprint to understand how large their footprint can be.

Make a portfolio
As I have told my high school students over the last few years, building a digital portfolio can be part of managing your digital footprint and increasing your job opportunities. For that purpose, my high school students made small digital portfolios. My students used Google Sites for that process, and yours can too when they follow the steps in Google for Education’s lessons in Applied Digital Skills titled Build a Portfolio With Google Sites.

Start using these lessons!
Watch this short video I created and learn how to distribute Google for Education’s Applied Digital Skills lessons to your students through the Google Classroom.

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