What do you know about Google’s Applied Digital Skills curriculum?

If you attended COABE's annual conference last week, chances are good that you heard something about Google Applied Digital Skills (GADS) curriculum.   The GADS curriculum will enable COABE to collect and showcase stories of adults and adult education institutions that use GADS, with a focus on workforce development.

"Applied Digital Skills is at the center of Grow with Google, an initiative to create economic opportunities for all Americans, and we are excited to begin this partnership with COABE,” according to Google's Program Management.  The partnership calls for the creation of professional development bootcamps for adult ed instructors in all 50 states. Fifty sites across the U.S. will be selected to participate in these exemplary, free professional development workshops, which will help adults prepare for jobs. According to COABE, it plans to showcase successes that result from this partnership and training. 
This partnership provides targeted professional development for teachers and administrators who will then utilize this state-of-the-art tool in their classrooms. The ultimate goal of our partnership is to showcase student successes and put adult learners on the pathways to good careers,” according to Sharon Bonney, COABE's executive director.

Whether you signed up for GADS at COABE, read their e-mail announcement, or are just leaning about it now, what potential do you see for using this curriculum with your learners?   There are currently 16 identified adult education lessons, including these three examples:

          Lesson 1: Unit Introduction

          Lesson 2: Create a Google Account

          Lesson 3: Record and Share Ideas for Things to Do

          Lesson 4: Search for Activities

          Lesson 5: Email Your Friend or Classmate

          Lesson 6: Personalize Emails and Manage Your Inbox

          Lesson 7: Unit Wrap-Up: Digital Tools for Everyday Tasks


Thanks for posting this, Mike. I would like to add that these are free, "ready-to-use video lessons teach digital skills that have immediate, real-life application." I have looked at a few and find them well-made and potentially very useful in adult basic skills education, depending perhaps on the levels of the learners.

Although it is not available yet, I was told by a Google Applied Digital Skills representative at the COABE conference that there is also an assessment tool that goes with these lessons; I was told by someone else that the assessment is being field-tested in New York City now. If that's so, perhaps our Integrating Technology and NYC Literacy Assistance Center colleague, Nell Eckersley might be able to share some information about this.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group


Hi all,

We have been working with Google Applied Digital Skills (we call them AppSkis) lessons for a few months and we are working with Google to do a series of teacher training pilots over the summer.

I’m a big fan of the Google Applied Digital Skills lessons—and not just the ones tagged for Adult Education.  But how exciting that they are developing lessons with adult education students (and teachers!) in mind!   There are 40 lessons currently, but they plan to more than quadruple that number in the coming year and they want our input on what kinds of lesson to include.

The lessons can be taken individually or assigned to a class (with or without Google Classrooms).  I highly recommend teachers trying out a few lessons on their own to get a sense of how they work and also to learn some of the skills themselves.  Go to https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/s/en/home  and sign in or sign up with a Gmail account.  Sign up as a teacher and click on the curriculum tab to see the lessons.  You can sort the lessons by audience, the tools/apps used, and the topics covered.  The “applied” piece is that the lessons are related to things we do in “real life” like planning an event, effective communications at work, tracking your monthly expenses etc.  One of our favorites is the lesson on If-Then Adventure Stories https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/c/middle-and-high-school/en/if-then-adventure-stories/overview.html which we’ve used to make science lessons on cycles.  

There is a helpful document https://docs.google.com/document/d/1arY5m9kB3Gf_iNbYTQvtjqvC6uedAiJRRgjzFvGSdHc/edit?usp=sharing  that covers the digital skills needed to be able to work with the AppSkis lessons.  You might also consider using Northstar https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/ or something like that to assess where you and your students are before taking on AppSkis.  Or just use part of a lesson with your students.  And you definitely need some familiarity with Google tools and apps before diving into the AppSkis.  Step one is to get a Gmail account.  Here's a nice tutorial on how to do that https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/googleaccount/.

The assessments inside the lessons that exist right now are surveys that people take before and after lessons to measure how much they learned.

Several people at COABE sessions said they were using the AppSkis lessons and it would be great to hear from them—what they like and what the struggles are.




Nell Eckersley

Literacy assistance Center

Google is adding new lessons to their Google Applied Digital Skills lessons collection all the time.  A current event lesson they have just added is called "Explore a Topic: Earth Day" and it utilizes the following skills:

  • Creating a report
  • Identify relevant data
  • Internet search
  • Researching a topic
  • Source evaluation
  • Writing strategies
  • Docs
  • Search
  • Sheets
  • Sites
  • Slides

Here's the link to the lesson https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/c/middle-and-high-school/en/explore-a-topic-earth-day/overview.html