New Program Brings Google Suite to California Community Colleges
A new partnership between Google and the ICT-Digital Media sector is bringing the G-Suite to community colleges across California this fall. The suite, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms, is on the rise as an alternative to Microsoft Office in businesses and other organizations.
Rather than merely showing students how to use these applications, Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum will give students the opportunity to apply them to real-world projects like budgeting and searching for a job.
The curriculum will be implemented by 40 instructors at 28 colleges in a pilot program, which is the result of a collaboration between Google Project Manager Shahla Naimi and ICT-DM Sector Navigator Steve Wright.
Naimi recently approached Wright with an opportunity for the California Community College business technology faculty to participate in a pilot to teach the Google Applied Digital Skills Curriculum this fall.
An internal “interest survey” revealed great enthusiasm about the curriculum among business technology instructors across the state. So in June, Naimi held a webinar to explain the curriculum and the pilot. Google hopes to use the feedback collected this fall to make sure the content is relevant to help students find jobs and hit the ground running in the professional world.
“It's been an amazing experience to work with so many instructors from all over the state,” Naimi said. “We are excited to work with them to share our digital skills curriculum with students in the fall to help equip them with the foundational digital skills needed for 21st-century jobs.”
More than 150 hours of content are available for instructors to use in the classroom. Assignments are self-paced and can be used on their own or incorporated into an existing syllabus.
Naimi and ICT-DM Project Manager Nicole Sherman are moderating a private Google group for instructors to ask questions and receive help with any issues that arise. Feedback sessions will be held in October and November.
“It’s proving to be an effective platform for instructors to ask questions and discuss shared issues like how to integrate the curriculum with current systems such as Canvas and MyITLab, and the benefits of creating a class versus just linking to the videos,” Sherman said.