By Kathleen Palmieri
Within the Google for Education suite of apps there are some free hidden gems. I want to share a few here to explore during the holidays.
Google offers many ways to encourage and support digital learning, and I have recently begun to explore and implement their Applied Digital Skills, which offers free video based lessons for remote or in-classroom teaching.
Over the past few years I have put a lot of time into teaching my students how to use the Google apps needed in our classroom, including Google Drive, Google Classroom, and Google Docs to name a few.
I wish I had come across Google’s ADS tech tool resource sooner as it offers project based learning and digital organizational skills through instructional videos that are very beneficial to learners of all ages.
Organizing Files in Google Drive
One of the first digital skill sets I implemented was the “Organize Files in Drive.” This is a video lesson that ramps up our ability to use Google Documents and the Google Drive effectively.
The skills taught include digital collaboration, file sharing, and organization. The objective of the lesson is to “Learn how to store, access, and share documents, presentations, forms, and photos in the cloud.”
Included is a well crafted lesson plan that states the essential question, How can I use Google Drive to organize my files, collaborate on projects, and keep track of due dates? The lesson objectives, along with digital skills, note that students will:
►Create and color-code folders in Google Drive to save class materials and assignments.
►Create a file-naming convention to easily find assignments and keep track of due dates.
►Move related files into the appropriate class folder or sub-folder.
►Share files and folders with a classmate and add to their own Drive.
Terms such as “uploading,” “downloading,” and “sharing permissions” that help students understand their meaning while participating in the lessons are used throughout.
Within the lesson plan there is a “Prep” section that includes adding your class and sharing the class code with students. Because this is a Google program, if you have a Google classroom you can seamlessly sync your roster to be able to upload assignments.
To do this, sign in to Applied Digital Skills as a teacher and navigate to your profile. Under Google Classroom, click “Get Started,” then click “Connect with Classroom.” From your dashboard, click “Create Class,” choose your class(es) from Google Classroom to import, and then click “import.”
The lessons are instructional video presentations with practical activities that align with the objectives given. The step-by-step approach allows students to follow along as they sign in to their Google account, open Google Drive, create a new folder to store the files and folders for this lesson, and name.
When the students are signed in to their Google accounts, their progress in the lesson activities is tracked throughout the course. To assign a lesson to your class, simply click on “Add to Class.”
The lessons offered are geared for late elementary through high school students. There are also teacher resources that provide Everything you need to teach digital skills. I highly encourage educators to explore Google’s Applied Digital Skills.
Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher and NBCT Professional Learning facilitator. She is a fifth grade educator in upstate New York who reviews and contributes regularly to MiddleWeb. With a passion for literacy and learning in the classroom, she participates in various writing workshops, curriculum writing endeavors, new teacher induction development, and math presentations. As a lifelong learner, she is an avid reader and researcher of educational practices and techniques. Collaborating with colleagues and globally on Twitter @Kathie042500 and expanding her education adventures at www.kathleenpalmieri.com are ongoing practices.