July 16, 2018
Over the past several years, Google for Education has become a mainstay in classrooms across the world. As these schools integrate the G Suite of tools in their classrooms they have a unique opportunity to really prepare their students for the future workforce. This is an opportunity schools cannot afford to miss. As a recent study by The Economist shows, only 44% of 18-25 year-olds believe their education provided them with the necessary skills needed in the workforce. Likewise, the World Economic Forum predicts that ⅓ of jobs in 2020 will require skills not currently taught in today’s classrooms.
While these numbers are daunting, there are resources available to help teach our students the necessary skills. To find these resources, schools need to look no further than Google. In response to the findings of the studies listed previously, Google Developed the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum. The Applied Digital Skills Curriculum is a free, video-based online curriculum, that prepares students of all ages for the growing number of jobs that require digital skills. Teachers and students use the curriculum to work through and develop projects that combine digital skills with real-world skills. Projects are completed through a series of customizable lessons available to teachers. Through the teacher portal, teachers can assign students activities to complete on their own or in small groups. These activities encourage the 4 C’s (creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking) and foster a multitude of different digital skills.
One example is the Planning an Event activity. During this activity, students complete a self-paced lesson asking them to plan an event from start to finish. Throughout this lesson, students learn to plan the event in a Google Sheet, use Gmail and Calendar to coordinate the event, create marketing materials in Google Drawings, and then create a Google Site to advertise. These are real-world skills that transfer directly into the workforce of today and the future.
So what does a teacher have to do while students are working through the activities? The short answer is, support the students in their work and demonstrate how classroom content connects to real-world applications. All of the lessons are self-paced and include step-by-step video tutorials. This structure allows the teacher to walk the room and assist students when they need help. The Applied Digital Skills Curriculum is very flexible, and allows teachers to utilize the entire curriculum or one lesson at a time. Each lesson also comes with a customizable rubric to share with students. Comprised of over 120 hours of lessons, the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum is sure to have something for all classes.
The curriculum has been awarded the ISTE Seal of Alignment for Proficiency to help build foundational technology skills needed to support the ISTE Standards for Students. I encourage you to sign up for the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum. There is no better way to combine the Google tools with valuable real-world skills!