Class introduces applied digital skills with Google to teachers

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Julia John

Junior Josh Smith presents Google's Applied Digital Skills on Feb. 5. Smith's presentation teaches teachers how to use Google Documents to make resumes for projects. “Resumes can help shape learning," Smith said. "So if you are in a social studies class if your teacher has you build a resume of a historical figure, not only does it give you a different aspect on history but also build those skills subconsciously.”

Amanda Hare and DaNita Griffin

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 Starting Feb. 5, students in the Talon Tech class have introduced Google’s Applied Digital Skills to staff, which is made for teenage and adult learners. The webpage, made up of lessons, builds digital skills and allows application to real life opportunities. It guides the students through lessons with written instructions and videos. 

This website can be used as a foundation to help learners get started and build digital skills quickly and with ease. This platform works as a possible asset to teachers, as they can take the basis of a lesson and shape it to fit their lesson plan. Filters (both for audience and lesson)  are also available for teachers to find certain projects to use. It works almost the same as Google Classroom. Teachers can keep track of student’s progress throughout the lessons as well. PHS’s Talon Tech class has been presenting this concept to teachers around the school on Feb. 5-6, and plan to do more presentations in the future.

“Some of the other features is that the levels of performance, it’s like your normal rubric,” junior Josh Smith said. “But, something to point out is that all the titles have more positive connotations so as to not lower students’ self esteem, it’s to keep them on a positive note.” 

Teachers will be provided with a Google Slides that walks them through the steps, a lesson plan and a rubric, which they can pass on to their students to guide them.

“Another thing with the lesson plans is that there are extensions for students who finish early,” Smith said. “You can format your style of resume, write a cover letter, just extra stuff that’s not necessarily busy work. It builds more skills for those who work faster.” 

According to the class adviser, the only issue that has arisen is not a problem with the site itself, but the dilemma of how teachers will fit these types of skills into their curriculum. 

“It’s skills based,” Joshua Watkins, Talon Tech adviser, said. “And not content based. You got to figure out where you want to fit these skills into a lesson cycle.”

Julia John
Joshua Watkins explains in greater detail, applied digital skills with Google.  Talon Tech, advised by Watkins, provides presentations for teachers over the usage of the site. “It’s about getting everyone the digital skills they need,” Watkins said, “to be successful in today’s world.”

A main way to use Applied Digital Skills that Talon Tech recommends to teachers is making resumes for class projects. Students can make a resume for any topics from their class, including chemical compounds, descriptions, historical figures, characters, or even 3D shapes.

“Resumes can help shape learning,” Smith said. “So if you are in a social studies class if your teacher has you build a resume of a historical figure, not only does it give you a different aspect on history but also build those skills subconsciously.”

Additionally, there are extensions for students who finish early as well as reflections for students to complete at the end.

“It’s about getting everyone the digital skills they need to be successful in today’s world,” Watkins said. “So it’s not specific topics, it’s skills. You take the skills and put them in the topic.”

Applied Digital Skills has many other lessons that students can learn to, including buying a car and college readiness.

“I am planning on using the resumes lesson to explore properties and real world examples of 3D figures,” geometry teacher Erin Miller said. “I think this tool is an excellent way for students to show what they know instead of taking a quiz or a test. Plus it gives them the experience of creating a resume which is a skill they will need in the professional world after high school.”

Applied Digital Skills can be used by anyone, teachers only have to create a class and have their students join.

“I plan to use this lesson to have students create a resume and cover letter for a character in one of our studied texts,” English IV teacher Coshari Chacchia said. “This will be practice for creating their own resumes and will teach students digital skills along with giving students the opportunity to analyze the characters in those stories and and evaluate the actions and motivations of those characters. I can see the benefit of the lesson on so many different levels, and I hope that my students will also see the value in activity.”

For more information on the Talon Tech class, click here.