Facilitate distance learning and remote work

As more people are staying home, we want to support you with resources to help you teach, learn and work remotely.

Getting started

Applied Digital Skills is a free, online digital skills curriculum. Lessons and materials are appropriate for a wide range of learners, from middle school to college, and beyond.

Learn more about Applied Digital Skills

The curriculum uses a series of videos to guide learners through creating a project from scratch. This means that learners who complete a lesson will leave with a useful project, such as a resume, a college planning sheet, or an interactive story.
The following Help Center articles can help you become more familiar with Applied Digital Skills and provide guidelines for setting up your online learning experience.

Access our Get Started Guide for a detailed overview of the curriculum as well as step-by-step instructions to help you teach Applied Digital Skills.

Remote Learning Guides

If you’re new to teaching in a remote learning environment, check out these easy-to-follow guides we designed to go along with our online video curriculum. 

This document contains a selection of Applied Digital Skills lessons with new materials we created to help you get started quickly and easily. 

Each lesson comes with:

  • a teacher guide, which provides an overview of the lesson and step-by-step instructions for presenting the lesson; 
  • an assignment template you can easily customize and send out to your students remotely; 
  • and an example assignment with the template filled in

Access our Remote Teaching Resources here 

And for even more, check out these Remote Learning Tips

Remote Learning Collections

We created three new collections of Applied Digital Skills lessons to help you work, teach, or learn from anywhere.

Teach from Anywhere 

Use this collection of lessons to engage your students in learning, even when you’re not together.

The collection includes lessons that teach digital skills through projects, as well as lessons that teachers can use to better facilitate a distance-learning environment.

Work from Anywhere

Even when you can’t communicate in person, these lessons can help hone digital skills that keep you working efficiently.

The collection includes five lessons to help plan, manage, organize and communicate collaboratively while remote. 

Learn from Anywhere

Use these lessons to become familiar with online tools and discover how they can help you learn effectively, no matter where you are.

The collection includes lessons that focus on Gmail, Google Sheets, and Google Drive.

We compiled these collections to centralize a few resources for teachers, parents, newly remote employees, and others wanting to enhance their digital skills, however all of our lessons are available to complete online.

You can also access a number of other great resources to aid in getting started here.

Guidelines for Parents

Parents can also use the Applied Digital Skills curriculum to help facilitate learning at home. Use our Guardian’s Guide as a starting point to familiarize yourself with Applied Digital Skills and the different ways you can use it at home

Start with this collection of lessons to keep your kids learning at home. You can also explore the full lessons page, where you can find lessons to fit a variety of interests.

Think about what your child likes and start there. There are lessons focused on art, writing, math, research, science, and more. 

Learn more about lessons

Some lessons are longer and can last multiple days:

Others are shorter and can be completed within 90 minutes:

Many lessons teach digital skills through fun projects that parents and children could do together or on their own:

For a more formal classroom setup, parents should feel free to follow the steps on the For Teachers section of the site. Create an account as a teacher, set up a class and add lessons to it, invite your students to join your class as students, and check in on their progress throughout.  

Modifications for Use with Limited Technology

Without school or library resources, like computer labs or laptops, some learners may have more difficulty completing Applied Digital Skills lessons from home. While some of our lessons require internet-connected devices and web applications, there are still ways to engage learners with our curriculum when technology access is limited.

Here, find a few tips for using the curriculum with limited technology, as well as recommended lower-tech lessons.

Limited or unreliable internet connection

Limited bandwidth can occur when a wireless internet signal is not very strong or when multiple people are using the same Wi-Fi network at the same time. Limited bandwidth can cause web pages or videos to load slowly, pause, or generate an error message. Here are some tips for working with Applied Digital Skills lessons if your internet connection is limited or unreliable.

  • Download the videos. When you have access to the internet, download the lesson videos to your device. Once downloaded, you can watch the videos at a later time without the need for internet access.

    Open the lesson you want to work on. Click on Teaching materials and find the Download all videos box. Click the arrow beneath to download all the videos in a lesson.

    For longer lessons, or to download only certain videos within a lesson, go to the video page. Click on the three dots in the lower right corner of the video and select Download. Do this for as many videos as you wish.

    To watch the videos, open them from your device’s file manager and view on your device’s built-in video viewing software.

You will need a working internet connection to complete the initial download.

 
  • Use video transcripts. If you are unable to play a video, the video transcript can be copied and pasted into a document. Once copied, you can read the video transcript at a later time without the need for internet access.

    Open the Applied Digital Skills video you’d like the transcript for. Click Transcript below the video box. Select all of the text. Right-click and select Copy. Open a new, blank document, right-click in the document, and click Paste.

 

  • Use offline editing. Offline editing allows you to use many features of Drive, Sheets, Docs, and Slides without an internet connection.

    Log in to your Google account and navigate to Google Drive. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and select Settings. In the Settings menu, find the Offline section and check the box.

    Reload Drive, then open Docs, Sheets, or Slides in Chrome to start using the apps offline.
     

You will need the internet and a Chrome browser to turn on offline access.

 

For more on working with files offline, read this Google Docs help article.

No access to a computer

Many of the projects that Applied Digital Skills lessons produce can be completed using pen and paper, and can help teach valuable life and subject-specific skills.

To prepare lessons for students to use without access to a device, teachers can print lesson plans and video transcripts to physically share with their students (by mail or by providing materials for pick-up at a designated location).

Adapting lessons for tech-limited environments

Some of our lessons are better suited for low-tech environments than others. Here are some suggested lessons that are easier to complete without the internet or a device.

  • Explore a Topic lessons: These lessons—like Explore a Topic: Innovators and Explore a Topic: Women’s History, among others—are research-based. Students use a templated document to guide their research. Research can be done on phones, if computers are not available, or using books.

    To prepare this lesson for low-tech use, teachers or parents can download the topic documents and share physical copies with students. Encourage students to use whatever resources are available to them (novels, textbooks, documentaries, newspapers, TV news, etc.) to research a person or topic.

    Ask them to write a paper about the topic or person they researched. They could also use a notebook as a journal written from a person’s point of view, or draw a timeline of progress on the topic they studied.
     

  • Annotate Text in Google Docs: This lesson teaches students how to increase their understanding of readings by taking notes.

    To prepare this lesson for low-tech use, teachers or parents can share the transcripts from videos 2, 3 and 4. Then, encourage learners to take notes in their books (with permission) or while reading a magazine or newspaper. You can also provide printed online articles for students to read and take notes on.

    Tell them to use different colored highlighters, colored pencils, or pens to help things stand out.
     

  • Design and Share a Badge: This lesson teaches students how to create a digital (or analog) badge that they can share with others.

    To prepare this lesson for low-tech use, teachers or parents can prompt students with a few different traits and example images. Then, ask learners to draw, paint, build, or create a badge with found materials. When they’re done, have them take a picture. When they’re able to access the internet again, they can upload the photo to Google Drive and later share with others.

If you’re using other lessons in a low-tech way, we’d love to hear about it! Or, if you have questions about how to adapt specific lessons, we’re here to help. Please get in touch using this form with your ideas, comments, and questions.

Additional Resources

As you adjust to this new routine — whether as a parent, a teacher, an employee, or a learner — know that our team is here to help. Please feel free to contact us using this form with specific questions about using the curriculum for remote teaching, working, or learning.

We’ve sourced a few other articles and resources that may be helpful during this time:

​For even more resources, explore the Google for Education distance learning hub and Google’s COVID-19 page.

 

If you’re already using Applied Digital Skills to keep teaching, learning or working remotely, share your story with us so that it can help inspire others!

 

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