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Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum

Integrating Technology Colleagues,

As you may know, Google is offering a free applied digital skills curriculum. https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com . You'll find the curriculum, a list of projects that you as a teacher or a learner can choose, at https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/c/en/curriculum.html

The curriculum appears to put digital literacy skills in problem-solving contexts, aligned with ISTE standards, and perhaps to some extent with the  PIAAC PSTRE assessment.

Which of the curriculum units do you think could be used with the adult learners you teach?

Have you already used projects in this curriculum with your students? If so, tell us what you learned from doing this?

If this is new to you, please take a look, check out at least one curriculum unit, and tell us what you think.

Jen, Ed, Susan, Ashly, Becky, Erin, Nell, Jeff, Robert, Alison, Kathy, Jennifer, Deb, Jacqueline, Duren, Naomie, Priyanka, Diana, Leecy, Alecia, and others --  I would like to hear what you think!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

Comments

S Jones's picture
One hundred

Another associate told me about this and I said  "I'm going to focus on math and reading and try to avoid trying to do everything." 

THat said, the 'plan an event' and 'manage a project' look tempting for me to just take...  and yes, I could see this as an invaluable and marketable skillset.   

*That* said, I need to dive back into that math lesson in geogebra that I'm trying to get to work :)   We're having a workshop about it here at the school in June but it's on using stuff others have made... and I'm trying to make my own stuff... 

Glenda Rose's picture
One hundred

I'm kind of disappointed with these.  The videos are okay, but with all the Google tools available, I was expecting more.  Could I use it in my classroom?  Sure.  Will I?  Probably not.  I can do the lecture part myself and there just isn't enough other stuff to stick my teeth into without a lot of extra work on my part.

Could I use it as part of a DL course?  Absolutely.

Just my two cents.

Glenda

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

David, thank you for sharing the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum (ADS)! I have taken some time this weekend to click through all the lessons offered and there were many thoughts that continued to resonate as I explored. 

In education at most every level, there is such a focus on skill and procedure. Interestingly, as we continue to obsess over how we assess those focus area, there seems to be so little attention to designing learning experiences around real products that all of us typically engage in in that "real world" thing we keep talking about in our institutions. I have looked through many collections of product-based curriculum and found many interesting bits and pieces, but my search always left me feeling that the real life parts were forced or contrived as some sort of after thought. So few efforts really focus on the end product and then build in the learning that needs to be scaffolded. The ADS seems to hit the mark of starting with end products that people really need and use and then breaks down the experience into steps and levels. I am sure there are improvements that could be done, but this curriculum is one I wish to spend much more time exploring. When the rush of the end of the school year slows down next month, I will be doing each lesson to better get a feel for the experience they created and will have a much more in depth opinion. 

Just while looking through all the outlines in each lesson, I continually thought about our educational focus. We center on what we teachers "need to cover" and very often just tack on "what students need" when convenient. What if that were switched in priority? What if evaluation of an education program were based on the number of people achieving tangible goals? If programs only got money based on the percentage of students that entered needing tangible goals and actually accomplished those goals, perhaps the teacher/curriculum centered focus we have today would swing much more into the needs of our individuals? If a student came in wishing to be able to enter college, they completed their high school equivalent, applied, financial aid, and were accepted to start, that student counts as a success. I could see some issues when that whole process tool 3 years of resources to be able to accomplish that finishing of the goal, but I suspect one could break that huge journey down into a number of record able successes each year. Our student tracking would come down to more, where is the student along their goal rather than how much of our teacher focus curriculum has the student endured. 

We often have a disconnect between what students come to us for and what we offer them. For example, I have had one older gentleman in his late 50s working with me on learning to read. He is a native English speaker and has a very articulate verbal grasp of the language, he just has never learned to read. Because of his work schedule and mine, we have been limited to just 2 hours per week which is not as much as we feel he needs. Just a month ago, we got him connected with a more traditional reading teacher during the week while he continues to work with me on the weekend. The student shares with me so often that the English teacher confuses and frustrates him often. We worked together on ways he might connect those items offered by the teacher to the experiences we have had together. We have done things like, making a resume, writing a letter to employer, completing crossword puzzles together, creating our own adult early reading picture book on a career, reading current events and comparing them to youtube videos on the same topic and other tasks that all ended in a product.  At first, he did not see any connection to the standardized work he was doing with the English teacher, but with a few weekends of discussion, he was starting to see how there was a connection and felt much better about the other more formalized work having some value for him. He still prefers the more experiential experiences, but at least can now value the other offerings. I feel many of our learners today might feel a similar disconnect when we approach the student with our "tried and true" lessons we have perceived as wonderful.  I personally have been questioning who my "go to" lessons were wonderful for, me or the students?

I am excited by the ADS and will be trying to make time to do some of the lessons as a student would to get more of a feel on the flow and experience soon! Have others tried a less yet or have we all just been able to look things over?

Alecia Ohm's picture
Ten

I know a few ESL instructors that have tried using the "Use Google to Get a New Job"  units in class. The videos and ability to track student progress is helpful. A couple issues that came up were students having trouble logging in to the online classroom and running out of wi-fi bandwidth. All students were trying to use the units at the same time. When the site started to lag they got frustrated and moved on to something else.

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

Just wanted to share that all the videos have a download button in the lower right corner. If one were to get those videos downloaded to either an external drive or a shared drive on the network, I suspect there would be no bandwidth issues. Just something to think about for those that have the reality of low bandwidth sites. Happy to see the authors made it easy to download these videos!

 

eslbecky3's picture
Ten

I'm curious to know what their experience was like using these lessons with language learners. Did the instructors find the language at an appropriate level?

Alecia Ohm's picture
Ten

Hi Becky, I spoke with the instructor that used the "Google to Get a Job" modules. Her classes are multi-level with learners between 17-85 years of age. Their reading levels are very diverse as well but she found that the majority of the class could follow along. Those that struggled were helped by others in the class and there seemed to be high interest in using tech, in this case Chromebooks, to access the modules.

eslbecky3's picture
Ten

Overall, I think these are really well designed! The fact that they are in a ready to go package with accompanying lesson plans and the ability to track learners make these useful for teachers short on time. I do think that teachers wishing to use these tools need to have familiarity with the Google suite of tools. Which, by the way, Google offers training for teachers that is really well done: https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/training 

I like the fact that it's easy to get started too. They have printable instructions that can be given to students and an easy start tutorial the first time you use the program. I noticed you are also able to adjust playback speed and turn on subtitles which is great to help accommodate all students. With that being said, I think the content may be difficult for low level ELs. I do like that they use natural speech in the videos but some of the vocabulary may be a little too advanced. Most of all, I really like that these are applied lessons. They encourage educators to move away from the traditional model of teaching technology which usually has students following along, step-by-step without much context (click File, everyone clicks File, now click New, everyone clicks New, etc.). Instead of "I Do-We Do-You Do" sometimes it's better to take a "You Do-I Do-We Do" approach. An old colleague of mine, Heather Tatton-Harris, sums this up very nicely here: http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolaeis/issues/2014-07-29/5.html  

If anyone is using this with ELs, I'd be interested to hear about their experiences!

Best,

Becky Shiring

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

The National; Center for Family Literacy recently offered a webinar introducing the Google Applied Digital Literacy Skills Curriculum. You will find it here. You will need to put up with 3 or 4 minutes of introduction and some technical difficulties before the presentation gets under way.

David J. Rosen. Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Jen, Ashly, Becky, Erin, Nell, Jeff, Robert, Alison, Kathy, Jennifer, Deb, Jacqueline, Duren, Naomie, Priyanka, Diana, Leecy, Alecia, and others, have you had a chance yet to look at Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum and, if so, what are your thoughts about it? If you think it is useful for adult learners, how might you use it or recommend that adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) teachers use it?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

Alison Ascher Webber's picture
Ten

Dear all,

In my role with the EdTech Center @ World Education, I will be speaking with the curriculum lead for Google's Applied Digital Skills to give my feedback (which I'll post here too) as well as others. So feel free to post any feedback you have if you want me to share it as well. I will attribute it to you/your org if you would like. 

Alison Ascher Webber

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